Al-Sadr is betting on the popular opposition
Al-Sadr is betting on the popular opposition
The leader of the Sadrist movement, Muqtada al-Sadr, surprised his allies and opponents once and his bloc members twice. The first time, al-Sadr asked his deputies to prepare their resignations from the Iraqi parliament and put them at his disposal. All opinions and analyzes by opponents in the Shiite “coordinating framework” and allies in the “sovereignty” and the “Kurdistan Democratic Party” are that this is one of the pressure cards that al-Sadr decided to exercise against his opponents after giving them more than one deadline to form a government without him. As for his deputies, none of them expected the unexpected surprise when he announced, a few days later, that they should submit their resignations to the Speaker of Parliament. Allies and opponents together were surprised by the unexpected surprise. Indeed, the Sadrist MPs submitted their resignations to the head of their bloc, Hassan al-Adhari, who in turn submitted them to Parliament Speaker Muhammad al-Halbousi. and according to al-Sadr’s wish; The procedures for signing the resignations were recorded in a video clip, while Al-Halbousi announced that he signed to accept the resignations “reluctantly” based on Al-Sadr’s desire and insistence, as evidence of his dissatisfaction with this step that will upset all balances within the legislative institution in the country, especially since Al-Sadr’s bloc was the largest in the parliament that emerged from the last elections that took place in 2021, with 75 seats.
Sadr’s allies, the Sunni “sovereignty” and the “Kurdistan Democratic Party” are still in a critical situation; For while they allied themselves with al-Sadr, despite all the pressures that were put on them, they could not be part of the transformations or surprises of the leader of the Sadrist movement. More importantly, they are waiting for the possibility of their return, based on previous experiences with al-Sadr, in which he had taken decisions to withdraw or boycott, and then retracted them. In addition, these two allies must ultimately decide the form and nature of their future alliances with those who were their opponents because of their rivalry with al-Sadr. And the fact that Parliament is in a legislative recess that extends to mid-July next; All expectations are still possible, although some forces of the “coordinating framework” are seeking to urgently fill the parliamentary void left by the Sadrists with their replacements who were the highest losers.
Regarding this complex scene, Asharq Al-Awsat polled the opinions of a number of experts and academics to read the scene in light of variables that no one had thought of. Ghaleb al-Dama’i, an academic and political analyst, said, “The withdrawal of the Sadrist movement seems to be a final decision, and on the other hand, it may be a trap for the forces of the coordination framework, which is now in a state of complete relaxation because it has begun to feel that the authority with all its joints will have it at the level of security, economy and resources.” He added, “This would be a cause for creating conflict spots between the components of the coordination framework itself, and it will be difficult to control them in the future.” Al-Daami continued, “The coordination framework fell into the trap, but the indications for this may not be imminent in order to turn from a hunter into a prey,” noting that “the future is the one who guarantees this; Because the tools for making the government and serving the people are not available in the coordination framework, and after they failed for 18 years, these tools have not changed.”
For his part, the head of the Center for Political Thinking, Ihsan al-Shammari, believes that “the maximum Iranian pressure exerted on al-Sadr and his allies, and the impossibility of achieving the national majority government that he called for, as well as the undeclared initiative that he put forward and which the coordinating framework did not respond to, are all reasons for It led al-Sadr to realize that even if a national majority government was formed, this government would be obstructed, including his candidate for its presidency, Jaafar al-Sadr.
He added, “For all these reasons and factors, al-Sadr realized that withdrawing from parliament would give him limited political power within a consensus government or a majority government that is unable to implement its program, which represents weakness.” So; Al-Sadr felt that he would lose a lot if he failed to make a political difference on the issue of reform or even services.” Al-Shammari explained, “Al-Sadr launched the issue of withdrawal and the transition to the popular opposition, but in all cases it is not possible to skip the fact that the withdrawal is a strategic framework by realizing that the current parliament and the government that will be formed from it in its absence will fall through the popular demonstrations that will occur.” Either through the chest or from other parties.” He stressed, “While we can say that al-Sadr’s decision was strategic, but it involves a margin of maneuvering; Because so far, parliamentary orders have not been issued in the issue of accepting the final resignation of the deputies through the known mechanisms.”
As for the media professor at the Iraqi University, Fadel Al-Badrani, he said, “Al-Sadr’s withdrawal process is undoubtedly a strategic step, which he expressed during his meeting with his deputies; He stressed that there is no going back to the political process to choose the popular opposition in its place. Al-Badrany added, “Al-Sadr is looking for another audience to increase its balance, as it is betting on winning the public and bankrupting its competitors from other forces.”
Regarding the possible repercussions of this step, Al-Badrany says, “The upcoming political scene seems really frightening. Because the coordination framework will work to expedite the formation of the government, which is at the same time a strong blow to the side of the Sadrist movement. However, the scenario of popular confrontation cannot also be ruled out. We are on the verge of a scene similar to the events of 2019, perhaps even at a higher rate, and therefore the next stage is dangerous for the overall situation in Iraq.”