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Rudaw

Iraq

Sadr, Abadi form ‘core’ parliamentary bloc with Hikma, Watanyah

By Rudaw 19/8/2018
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi (R) pictured with cleric Moqtada al-Sadr in Najaf in 2015. File photo: Haidar Hamdani / AFP
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi (R) pictured with cleric Moqtada al-Sadr in Najaf in 2015. File photo: Haidar Hamdani / AFP
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Iraq took a major step closer to forming a new government on Sunday, hours after the Federal Court finally ratified the May 12 election result. 

Talks took place on Sunday evening at Baghdad’s Babylon Hotel between Muqtada al-Sadr, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, Ammar Hakim, and representatives of al-Watanyah.

“In a national Iraqi decision springing from the interest of our country, and responding to the demands of the people, we agreed today to form the core of an alliance that will seek to form the parliamentary bloc that can form the government,” reads a joint statement issued following the meeting.

The parties said they are open to other partners joining them, insisting the alliance is “cross sectarian and refuses partisanship in all of its forms”.

The new alliance “will seek to seriously and actively contribute to forming a government that works seriously to provide services, rebuilds, return IDPs, fights corruption, and holds the corrupt accountable,” the statement added.

Sadr, whose Sayirun alliance won the most seats in the May 12 election, arrived in Baghdad earlier on Sunday to personally participate in talks.

The announcement comes after Iraq’s federal court officially approved the results of Iraq’s May 12 parliamentary election earlier on Sunday. 

Sadr’s grouping is one of two teams vying to create the biggest bloc in the Iraqi parliament.

The rival bloc is led by former Iraqi PM Nouri al-Maliki. It includes Maliki’s State of Law coalition and Hadi Amiri’s Fatih (Conquest) alliance – a coalition of Hashd al-Shaabi paramilitias.

Kurdistani parties are in the middle with each side competing for their support.

“It is clear there are two axes competing on forming the biggest bloc, and this is good politically. But the question is what if one of those axes fails? Will it concede to becoming the opposition? Or will it throw that out of the window and demand to join, even if it means a government of partisanship? On our side, we will commit,” Qais al-Khazali, leader of Asaib Ahl al-Haq, and prominent pro-Iran leader, said in a tweet on Sunday.

The newly formed Sunni National Axis Alliance is in Erbil holding talks with Kurdish parties. 

Abadi also called for the process of forming a new a government to officially begin.

"I call on his Excellency, the President of the Republic, to initiate calling on the Council of Representatives to convene as soon as possible within the constitutionally designated time and to begin procedures of parliamentary presidency and for the President of the Republic to assign the representative of the biggest parliamentary bloc to form the next government,” Abadi said in a televised speech on Sunday.

Abadi hoped “for it to proceed with its work and duties for serving Iraq  and meeting the aspirations of Iraqis for stability and a free dignified life."

Updated 9:25 a.m. on August 20, 2018.

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Azad | 19/8/2018
In this important position kurdish parties, namely KDP and PUK, should not be shy with their demands. We need peshmerga to return to all disputed areas from Khanaqin across Tuz Khurmatu and Kirkuk all the way to outer Mosul and Zumar and Shingal. This will allow all kurdish refugees to return to their homes. On top of this we need the full implementation of article 140. It is beyond disgraceful how this article written in the constutition has beenn deliberately ignored since 2003. 15 years and arabs have yet to implement this article. It has to happen now. If Gorran and New Generation have any kurdish patriotism left in them they will unite what seats they have with KDP and PUK and form a complete kurdish alliance in Baghdad.
Ben | 19/8/2018
If a Kurdish-Sunni coalition is formed it will become a huge block in Baghdad that can ensure the rights of both communities. The greatest obstacle will be Turkey which has influence on some of the Sunni parties and will pressure them not to enter an alliance with Kurds. The Turks could care less about the Sunnis as long as they can use them to stop Kurds gaining more rights. Look at the state of the Shias who have Iran behind them and the state of the Sunnis who supposedly have Turkey behind them. Same situation in Syria, the Turks are slowly throwing the Sunnis more and more under the buss in a deal to stop Kurdish gains.
thurgood bardico | 19/8/2018
Sadr is my guy...
daar | 20/8/2018
So a new Iranian puppet shia government, good job mr. Mcgurk.
FAUthman | 20/8/2018
Let us do some more math: Maliki 25 + Fateh 48 + Nujaifi ( if he joins in ) 14 = 87. This coalition will need 78 more votes to reach 165. Where would the 78 PM seats come from ?, no one knows. This coalition has no chance of reaching the 165 PM seats needed to form a government!!

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