File photo shows Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi [L] as he hosts Hadi al-Amiri [M] and Mahdi al-Muhandis from the Iran-backed Hashd al-Shaabi in Baghdad in October 2015. Photo: PM Media Office
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has formed a trilateral alliance with the influential Shiite cleric Ammar al-Hakim, and a coalition that consists of the Iran-backed Hashd al-Shaabi, the spokesperson for Hakim’s party said in a statement on Sunday evening.
“Thanks to the blessing of God, an agreement has been concluded to enter the upcoming elections with a trilateral alliance that will include Hikma Movement [of Hakim], Abadi’s [Nasr] list, and the Hashd parties,” Nawfal Abu Rageif, spokesperson for Hakim’s Movement said, as reported by al-Forat News, a media outlet close to the party.
He said that they have also agreed on the main principles of the agreement that was then “signed by the parties of the strong alliance.”
Maliki will run for the elections on a separate list under the State of Law Coalition.
Sadr strongly criticized the alliance signed between Abadi and Hadi al-Amiri, a prominent militia leader of the Iran-backed Hashd al-Shaabi.
Amiri has already formed a coalition that includes the main Hashd parties who played a significant role against ISIS since 2014.
“I express condolences to my struggling and patient nation due to the despicable political agreements that pave the road for corrupted individuals to come back,” Muqtada al-Sadr said in a letter to his followers.
He added that he was offered participation in the alliance but that he completely refused it.
Nasr Coalition will include representatives from all Iraqi components with their political campaign focusing on preserving achievements made against ISIS, a fight against corruption and protecting the territorial integrity of Iraq, PM Abadi said on Saturday, hours after his party allowed him to form his own list, separate from the list of VP Maliki
, his main rival.
An official working for the media office of Abadi stated that they call on all Iraqis, including those who fought against ISIS, namely the Iran-backed Hashd al-Shaabi, to enter their list.
Abadi’s coalition and Amiri, who is the head of the Shiite Badr Organization, signed an election agreement on Sunday, Reuters reported citing lawmakers from both sides of the pact.
“We are baffled by the path brother Abadi has chosen,” Sadr said, “We believed he was an advocate of national interest and reforms.”
Sadr, who heads the movement that carries his name and has traditionally represented Shiite communities with low incomes, is among the very few Shiite leaders who has tried to distance his political movement from Iranian influence.
He concluded that he will only support lists whose members are “independent technocrats” for the sake of strengthening the new Iraq. He added that he will reveal his plans in the future for the Iraqi people.
Sadr is an outspoken critic of Abadi’s government. He is the leader of the multiple protests that tens of thousands attended in the Iraqi capital calling for reform and curbing corruption in 2017.
He urged the Shiite militia leaders to lay down their weapons before participating in Iraqi elections last December.
Iraqi law does not allow members of the armed forces, including the Hashd, to run for elections, but they can do so if they first leave their military roles and disarm.
RELATED: In a sign of reconciliation Shiite cleric Sadr meets with Iraq’s PM Abadi