Sheikh Salah al-Obeidi, Muqtada al-Sadr's spokesman in an exclusive interview with Rudaw says no government could be formed without "regard to the influential role" of the Kurds. Photo: Rudaw TV
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region — Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has a better record and performance and could be part of a bigger coalition, but his predecessor Nouri al-Maliki stands no chance, says Sheikh Salah al-Obeidi, Muqtada al-Sadr's spokesman, adding that no government could be formed in Baghdad without taking into account the important position of the Kurds.
"The main differences are between Sairoon and the State of Law coalition and it's all an accumulation of past events, including their prime ministers not having a clear agenda or vision during the twelve years they've been in power," Obeidi told Rudaw in an exclusive interview.
"During the term of Nouri al-Maliki in particular, when there was an enormous budget nothing was done and the budget wasn't used properly," he added.
Sadr's Sairoon bloc won the majority of votes in the May 12 elections and secured around 54 seats.
Obeidi said that the delay in forming a government is "technical because the federal court hasn't up to this point formally agreed on the final results of the elections and that has to do with the possibility of fraud and vote rigging."
Obeidi added that Sairoon looks more favorably at Abadi and could consider him for a coalition.
"To be honest the Nasr bloc of Abadi is different and we believe Abadi had a better performance," he said. "So his Nasr could be part of the bigger alliance that could be formed.
"Maliki stands no chance at all to be chosen as prime minister by us."
However, the Sadr spokesman said, "it won't be Sairoon alone that would choose who becomes prime minister. It'd be a collective decision by all the members of the coalition."
Sairoon and its leader acknowledge the position of the Kurds and they cannot be ignored in neither the negotiations nor forming a government, said Obeidi.
"The Kurds are an essential part of Iraqi politics and therefore no government could be formed without regard to the influential role of the Kurds," he stressed. "Mr. Sadr himself has stressed this at every turn and when he went to Baghdad among those he met with Kurdish delegations."
"There is also one thing," Sadr's spokesman continued. "The Kurds themselves haven't yet made up their minds as to whether they will come to Baghdad as one bloc or two in order to present their demands to the new government.”