Coordination Framework Options in the Absence of Sadr


In Muqtada Al-Sadr’s meeting with his deputies on the evening of the 15th of June, Sadr dismissed doubts about the possibility of retracting the resignation of his representatives. This is what makes the Shiite coordination framework bear the responsibility of managing the following stage, while previously they were only wishing to participate. Many analysts and politicians of the Sadrist movement are betting Sadr’s withdrawal is not a retreat or a political absence, and some of them talk about reactivating the Mahdi Army. Others are betting that al-Sadr is “Hussein Al-Asr” about inaugurating a revolution in the future. This makes it difficult for the Shiite coordination framework to determine choices.

Currently, the coordination framework has about 120 seats in parliament, and they may get some of the seats of Sadr’s resigning representatives in the future. The coordination framework is presently considered to be the largest bloc that can nominate a candidate for prime minister. However, the Kurdistan Democratic Party and the Alliance of Sovereignty with the help of some independents can repeat the scenarios of obstructing the selection of the President of the Republic, similar to what the coordination framework forces beforehand did, then they can do so. But since Al-Halbousi needs the current majority of the Shiite coordination framework in Parliament to maintain the presidency, the framework is unworried about this possibility. Even if the PDK and sovereignty consume the blocking third, the removal of Al-Halbousi from the presidency of the parliament will remain a possible possibility.

After Sadr’s unconditional withdrawal, the coordination framework held several internal dialogues, but so far these conversations have not produced their vision for the following stage. Plus, leaked information and the results of their meetings indicate that the visions of the coordination framework forces are divided into two groups. A group that includes Nouri al-Maliki and to some possible extent Qais Al-Khazali and some Iranian armed groups who are favorably impressed by Al-Sadr’s withdrawal. This group is looking forward to increasing their seats and reinforcing their position in the subsequent government. The second group includes Ammar Al-Hakim, Hadi al-Amiri, and Faleh Al-Fayyad. These three are still worried about Sadr’s withdrawal and the prospects for the future and hope that al-Sadr will return to the political game.

The following stage depends on how the framework deals with the situation in the absence of Sadr. However, the front mobilized by Sadr’s opposition now faces difficult choices in dividing the gains of Sadr’s withdrawal.  The first one is in taking the seat of Hakim Al-Zamli who is the first deputy to parliament and then choosing the prime minister. Most importantly, they aim to deal with Sadr’s two key allies, the KDP and Sovereignty. Although they have about 100 seats, they represent two leading poles in the structural equation, Erbil-Anbar.

The coordination framework is seeking a strong personality capable of experiencing challenges to be nominated for the prime minister. Each of Maliki, Al-Amiri, and somehow Abadi are equally possible candidates in the framework. However, based on the facts and precedents, it becomes explicit that Maliki’s candidacy is extremely sensitive. Notably, after Sistani’s agent attacked him indirectly, and later he said, “That was my opinion.” In addition, naming al-Maliki is a confrontation with Sadr. As for Hadi Al-Amiri, his government will reflect an Iranian security administration. Although he has a rolling back with Al-Sadr, Amiri will confront the United States, Europe, and the youth of the October uprising. As for al-Abadi, who has more experience and external approval than Maliki and Amiri, there are doubts that Maliki would control Abadi in decisions making. Moreover, if the Shiite framework introduces Abadi, he will not be screened from the hatred and wrath of Sadr. It is equally likely that the 2016 scenario will repeat itself when the parliament and the government came under the control of the Sadrist protesters.

The second option for the Shiite framework is to present a second-rate character. The coordination framework also discusses some names like Muhammad Shiite Al-Sudani, Asaad Al-Eidani, and Mohammed Alawi. However, those people do not own militias and parties, same as Adel Abdul-Mahdi former PM of Iraq, whom Shiite forces used as a front for themselves, and nominating one of them means repeating AbdulMahdi’s experience.

The third and final option is to compel changes to partisan thinking within the Shiite coordination framework through the establishment of a service-oriented or independent and technocratic government that immediately addresses Iraq’s accumulated problems and places electricity, water, and the environment, and job creation at the top of its agenda. However, this is enslaved to the agenda and history of the coordination framework forces that are more accustomed to being in a fragmented system, and they consider the absence of Sadr as an opportunity to gain other privileges for their parties.

Whatever scenario succeeds, the coordination framework will have to convince the KDP and the Sunnis after eight months of treachery, conflict, security tensions, and recourse to the courts. In the second place, there are fears of Sadr resorting to the streets. Sadr had sued his deputies not to “split,” which might be a sign of this. Sadr may have more demands than “reform” and “review”, and he may try to overthrow the regime and take advantage of the gaps in the Iraqi political structure. The remainder of the current parliament officially represents about 30% of the electorate. While some analysts believe the actual percentage is less than that because, in the first place, there was an exaggeration in the official amount announced at that time, which causes more confusion.

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