Coalition Headed by Sudani Begins to Takes Shape ahead of Iraq Parliamentary Elections

Iraq's Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani attends a ceremony in Baghdad, Iraq, Jan. 9, 2024. (AP)
Iraq's Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani attends a ceremony in Baghdad, Iraq, Jan. 9, 2024. (AP)
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Coalition Headed by Sudani Begins to Takes Shape ahead of Iraq Parliamentary Elections

Iraq's Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani attends a ceremony in Baghdad, Iraq, Jan. 9, 2024. (AP)
Iraq's Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani attends a ceremony in Baghdad, Iraq, Jan. 9, 2024. (AP)

Iraqi Minister of Labor Ahmed al-Asadi announced on Friday that he would take part in the upcoming parliamentary elections as part of a coalition led by Prime Minister Mohammad Shia al-Sudani.

Speaking in a televised interview, his remarks may have revealed the PM’s intention to form such a coalition when he has yet to make an official announcement about it.

Asadi added: “Sudani has yet to reveal his political program. Several candidates are expected to join his electoral list should he announce it to secure an easy victory given his approval among the people.”

Asadi, a prominent member of the pro-Iran Coordination Framework, is the first official to reveal Sudani’s coalition.

Sources predicted that the coalition will begin to take shape in the coming days.

Meanwhile, head of the State of Law coalition, former PM Nouri al-Maliki indirectly expressed his opposition to Sudani being appointed premier for a second term.

He told local media that “services projects provided by the government do not necessarily ensure that it would be sworn in for a second term” – a reference to Sudani.

Moreover, he remarked: “Securing the position of prime minister does not depend on the number of seats won in the upcoming parliamentary elections.”

Even if a candidate were to win 60 seats, agreements between the political forces lead to the appointment of a PM, he added.

Asked about the electoral law that has exposed divisions between the Shiite powers, Maliki said he prefers a law that is based on several electoral districts, a position that contrasts with Sudani’s.

Sudani has advocated the current law that is based on a single electoral district.



Yemen's Houthis Say to Escalate Military Operations in Support of Gaza

A Houthi military helicopter flies over a cargo ship in the Red Sea. (Reuters)
A Houthi military helicopter flies over a cargo ship in the Red Sea. (Reuters)
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Yemen's Houthis Say to Escalate Military Operations in Support of Gaza

A Houthi military helicopter flies over a cargo ship in the Red Sea. (Reuters)
A Houthi military helicopter flies over a cargo ship in the Red Sea. (Reuters)

Yemen's Houthis will continue their military operations and escalate them "in quality and quantity" in support of Palestinians in Israel's war in Gaza, the Iran-backed group's leader Abdulmalik al-Houthi said in a televised speech on Thursday, Reuters reported.

The group have been attacking ships in the Red Sea region since November, forcing shippers to re-route cargo to longer and more expensive journeys around southern Africa.

The group later expanded the scope of its attacks to the Indian Ocean and said it would also target any ships heading towards Israeli ports in the Mediterranean Sea.