Majority or consensus gov.: Dispute between Sadr, Coordination Framework

Iraq’s Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr wants to form a “majority government” while Coordination Framework including other Shia parties prefers a “consensus government”, a political leader said on Sunday.

Last week, a delegation from the Coordination Framework led by Hadi al-Amiri met with Sadr in Najaf to discuss the formation of a new government.
The Coordination Framework includes State of Law Alliance, al-Fateh Alliance, Ata Movement, National Forces Alliance, Haquq Movement and Fadhila party.
Following the meeting, Sadr stressed in a tweet that the upcoming government should be “a national majority government, neither eastern nor western”.
“The only point of contention between al-Sadr and the coordination framework regarding the formation of a new Iraqi government is that Sadr wants a majority government, but the Coordination Framework wants a consensus government,” Fazil al-Fatlaw, a leader in al-Fateh alliance, told Baghdad Today.
“This difference can be resolved and agreed on through continuous dialogue and negotiation between the two parties,” he added.
“We believe that things will move towards the consensual government. All forces would prefer that.”
On Saturday, Wail Rukabi, a leader in the Coordination Framework, said the group would form the largest parliamentary bloc and a new government if talks with Sadr failed.
“The Coordination Framework is the largest bloc with 90 seats and will form the government in the event that Sadr rejects a coalition with the group,” Baghdad Today quoted him as saying.
He, however, noted that forming a new government without Sadr could fail and not “last a year”, hoping the Sadrist movement would unite the two sides.
On Thursday, Iraqi President Barham Salih issued a decree that convenes new parliament for January 9, following the approval of final results by the federal court.
Lawmakers will elect a parliamentary speaker and two deputies in their first session. They will later elect a new president who will task the leader of the largest bloc to form a government as prime minister.
The main winner of the election was Sadr, a populist who has positioned himself as a staunch opponent of both Iran and the United States.
Sadr’s bloc, already the biggest in the 329-seat parliament, will expand to 73 seats from 54. Its main rivals for years, the Fatah bloc of factions, meanwhile, saw its parliamentary representation collapse to just 17 seats from 48.
The Taqqadum Party, which draws support from minority Sunni Muslims, won 37 seats, according to the final results.
Former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s State of Law Alliance won 33 seats, the results showed.
Because no coalition won a majority, Shia, Sunni and Kurdish coalitions have been jockeying for position in the new government.
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