Signs Of A “Political Storm” In Iraq
By David Sadler Last Updated Mar 3, 2023
In the midst of a crisis in the relationship between al-Sudani and his Shiite supporters… and speculation that al-Sadr will return
Numerous indications are accumulating in the Iraqi party offices and corridors that a political storm will topple the equation that laid the groundwork for the government of Muhammad Shia al-Sudani, after a sharp dissonance emerged between the poles of the “coordinating framework”, amid high possibilities of the return of the activity of the leader of the “Sadr movement” Muqtada al-Sadr.
Reliable sources say that Shiite parties are trying to anticipate “unexpected big turns” by drawing a new map that may include setting a date for early elections and reaching an understanding with al-Sadr on the next stage.
These sources indicate that the relationship between al-Sudani and the “coordinating framework” has become “turbulent” and “lacking coordination” for at least two months, while the non-public disintegration of the Shiite alliance contributed to “the emergence of competing partisan poles besieging the prime minister and restricting his effectiveness.” An informed source confirmed that Al-Sudani and Al-Attar are working in opposite directions.
Local media reported that Al-Sudani will resort to a cabinet change that may include partisan figures that Washington has banned dealing with, due to its association with the armed factions. Politicians confirmed to Asharq Al-Awsat that Al-Sudani’s intention to change is linked to the conflict within the “coordination framework”. Al-Sudani appeared, in a recording broadcast on state television, criticizing the performance of some ministers, noting that others had received threats from their parties. Al-Sudani said, “The minister’s relationship with the political forces ends after he is nominated and gains the confidence of Parliament (…) and whoever feels pressure or threat, I am present.” Al-Sudani had never made such explicit statements publicly, which were received by local public opinion as directed at the Coordination Framework coalition.
A leader in the “coordinating framework” said, “Al-Sadr is ready to move, and everything he does raises the anxiety of the leaders of the Shiite parties, and they were mainly involved in major differences over the sphere of influence within the government.”