Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi giving a speech last week in Najaf. Photo: Haidar Hamdani/AFP
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – A group of Hashd al-Shaabi militias have withdrawn from the Nasr election coalition of Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi.
One Hashd official said the Fatih coalition composed of Iranian-backed Hashd al-Shaabi militias withdrew out of objection to the inclusion of other groups, a claim contradicted by the head of the coalition.
“Due to some unwanted people joining the coalition of Nasr, we decided as the coalition of Fatih to withdraw from the coalition,” Karim Nuri, Fatih spokesperson and high ranking Hashd official, told Rudaw on Monday.
Eight Hashd groups formed the Fatih coalition earlier this week, including Asa'ib Ahl al-Haq and the Badr Organization.
Nuri did not name the people the Fatih coalition objected to working with, but said that they are known. Some pundits believe he may be referring to Amar al-Hakim’s Wisdom Movement.
The head of the Fatih coalition denied the withdrawal was due to a problem of relations. “The Fatih coalition withdrew from the Nasr coalition due to technical reasons, not due to Mr. Sadr or Amar al-Hakim entering into the coalition,” Hadi al-Amiri said in a published statement on Tuesday.
Amiri insisted the reports of a rift between the groups are nothing but lies and said they are willing to form a coalition with Abadi after the elections.
Abadi announced the formation of his Nasr coalition on Saturday. His goal was for the group to be cross-sectarian and gather together representatives from all Iraq’s provinces to fight corruption and preserve the victory of Iraq.
The prime minister formed Nasr after splitting from fellow Dawa Party member Nouri al-Maliki, who has registered to run under his State of Law coalition.
Abadi’s coalition formed a trilateral alliance
with the Fatih coalition and Hakim’s Wisdom Movement over the weekend, drawing the ire of influential Shiite cleric Muqtada Al-Sadr, who said the grouping would pave the road for corrupt individuals to reenter the government.
Sadr insisted that he would only support independent technocratic candidates. He has reached an agreement with the Communist Party of Iraq.
Iraqi elections are set to be held on May 12, though the Sunni bloc in the parliament wants the vote postponed, arguing that elections cannot be held in areas with high insecurity and before displaced populations return home.
The date of registering coalitions for the elections has now passed with 27 entities registered, according to Iraq’s electoral commission.