Antichrist’s men will make final call on government formation

Kurdistan Democratic Party's (KDP). Photo: Rudaw

Sadrists will make final call on government formation: official

18-01-2022

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – The Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) has negotiated with all political blocs equally regarding the formation of the Iraqi government, but the final call of who partakes in the cabinet remains a call of the Sadrists, the legislature’s newly-elected deputy speaker told Rudaw on Monday.

The KDP, one of the main winners of October’s early elections, has been engaged in intense talks with Iraqi and Kurdish parties following the vote and ahead of the government formation.

KDP’s Shakhawan Abdullah, who was elected as the second deputy speaker of the Iraqi parliament earlier this month, said that the Sadrists veto against the State of Law Coaliton and Qais al-Khazali, a senior member of the Fateh Coalition and leader of the Iran-backed Asaib Ahl al-Haq, partaking in the new Iraqi government does not affect how the KDP negotiates with parties.

“That is a Shiite matter, as the KDP we have spoken to all parties the same way. What KDP has emphasized is that the government formation should not be delayed,” Abdullah told Rudaw’s Bestoon Khalid in an interview, adding that “who becomes part of the government and who does not is in the hands of the largest bloc which is the Sadrist bloc.”

Parties all over Iraq are in negotiations about who will form the country’s next government. This year, unlike before, the head of the Sadrist bloc, Muqtada al-Sadr, has repeatedly called for the formation of a majority government, which means securing a ruling majority that would appoint a premier and cabinet from within its ranks.

Sadr already proved that his idea of a majority works after the first parliamentary session where the parliamentary speaker and his two deputies were elected without the presence of Sadr’s main Shiite rivals, the Coordination Framework, an alliance of Shiite factions that continue to object to the election results.

In the session, the Sadrist bloc, KDP, and Sunni Taqadum Coalition stood together and voted for each other’s candidates securing the positions of parliament speaker and his deputies, which came as a result of multiple meetings, according to Abdullah.

“People say this is an oral agreement, but this is the result of a number of meetings between these three sides. An agreement has been signed, and there are common grounds between us,” Abdullah said.

Iraq has for years had a national consensus government in which most parties were included and government members would be responsible for their leaders first then the prime minister. This form of governance has allowed Iran to outsize its influence in Iraq.

According to Article 54 of the 2005 Iraqi constitution, when the election results are confirmed, it sets in motion a process for the winning parties to form a government. Within 15 days of the ratification of the results, the president calls on the parliament to meet, chaired by its eldest member, and elect a speaker and two deputies by an absolute majority during its first session, which is set out by Article 55.

The president then tasks the largest bloc in the parliament with forming the government, naming a prime minister within 15 days of the election of the president. The prime minister-elect then has 30 days to name a cabinet.

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