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Iraq: Efforts to Mend Rifts between Abadi, Sadr

Iraq: Efforts to Mend Rifts between Abadi, Sadr

Wednesday, 17 January, 2018 - 08:00
Muqtada al-Sadr/AFP

Secret efforts resumed on Tuesday to reopen channels between Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and leader of the Sadrist Movement, Muqtada al-Sadr, were disrupted after the prime minister signed an electoral pact with Hashd al-Shaabi, before the latter withdrew from the Nasr al-Iraq coalition on Monday.

An initiative to reconnect the two men is ran by Abdul-Halim al-Zuhairi, leading official at the Dawa party, of which al-Abadi is a member.

According to some observers, there is still no clear vision concerning those efforts.

On Monday, Abadi had announced signing an electoral pact with leading official at Hashd al-Shaabi for next May’s national elections in Iraq.

Commenting on the decision to jointly participate in the elections, Al-Sadr had lashed out at the Nasr al-Iraq coalition and said Abadi’s election campaign would pave the way for “corrupt” people to return to the government.

A leading official at the Sadrist Movement told Asharq Al-Awsat on condition of anonymity that, “it remains difficult now to revive the alliance between al-Sadr and Abadi because the first has lost confidence in the prime minister.”

However, member of the Iraqi Parliament Jabbar Abadi, who is close to the prime minister, asserted that “relations between the two men were heading towards achieving a progress that might lead to an electoral alliance.”

The MP was surprised about al-Sadr’s position regarding the electoral pact signed between the prime minister and Hashd al-Shaabi.

“Al-Sadr was informed about the phases of the agreement. Nevertheless, there are efforts to mend rifts between the two sides. Things are moving towards a better situation,” Abadi said.

Separately, the "State of Law" bloc headed by Vice President Nouri al-Maliki announced on Tuesday that supporting political majority is an essential condition for the bloc’s electoral alliances with political forces in Iraq’s upcoming elections.

“Our electoral alliances are clear. Our main condition for any alliance is the acceptance of Maliki’s political majority,” Hisham al-Rukabi, the head of Vice President Nouri al-Maliki's press office said.

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