In Race for Iraqi Govt Sunnis, Kurds and Shiites Present Balancing Acts

Published July 8th, 2018 - 07:54 GMT
Kurdistan Parliament (Shutterstock/File Photo)
Kurdistan Parliament (Shutterstock/File Photo)

Iraq witnesses a race between Arab Sunnis and Kurds over the balancing force allowing the biggest parliamentary bloc to form the next cabinet.

This race was ignited on Saturday with the dismantling of the Shiite “National Alliance” into five principle blocs: the Sairoon Coalition, the Fatah Coalition, Al-Nasr Coalition, the State of Law and the Hikmah Alliance, despite efforts by Iranian IRGC Quds Force Commander Qassem Soleimani to reunite the Shiite house through the old National Alliance bloc.

Parties from all sects are still discussing options on involvement in the next government’s decision-making process.

At the Kurdish level, the Kurdistan Democratic Party and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan continued talks for reaching a joint position in consultations over Iraq’s incoming government. However, the two
parties are still incapable to solve other disputes related to several files, including the presidential seat.

At the Sunni level, leaders from various blocs postponed announcing a new Sunni alliance aimed to participate in the upcoming government and in Baghdad’s political decision-making.

 

 

The postponement was due to disputes related mainly to who would lead the alliance.

Last week, Baghdad Alliance’s winning lawmaker Mohammed Karbouli told Asharq Al-Awsat that “the new Sunni alliance includes more than 45 deputies from all Sunni blocs, including the current parliament
speaker Salim al-Jubouri and head of the National Movement for Development and Reform party Jamal Al-Karboli.”

Separately, the Iraqi government fears the emergence of new protests due to the electricity crisis that worsened after Iran has cut electricity supplies to Iraq due to unpaid bills.

Last Friday, the Ministry of Electricity in Baghdad said the portion of the national power supplied by Iran had been cut off due to funds owed by Baghdad.

On Saturday, Electricity Minister Qasim al-Fahdawi and an Iraqi delegation visited Tehran to reach a deal with the Iranian side over the power crisis issue.

 

This article has been adapted from its original source.


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