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Iraq: Parliamentary Blocs Grant PM 45 Days to Implement Reforms

Iraq: Parliamentary Blocs Grant PM 45 Days to Implement Reforms

Wednesday, 20 November, 2019 - 08:15
Iraq’s Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi (File photo: Reuters)

Major Iraqi political blocs agreed to grant Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi a period of 45 days to implement reforms and meet the demands of the demonstrators.

A total of 12 parliamentary blocs and alliances agreed to six resolutions and recommendations, in addition to five important proposals, while threatening to withdraw confidence from the government and hold early elections if the government or the parliament were unable to implement the measures within the given timeframe.

The blocs held their meeting at the house of the leader of the opposition National Wisdom Movement Ammar al-Hakim, which included: Fatah Alliance, Victory Alliance, State of Law Coalition, Kurdistan Democratic Party, Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, al-Wataniya Coalition, Ataa Movement, and Turkmen Front among others.

The meeting was attended by President Barham Salih, President of the Kurdistan Region Nechirvan Barzani, Ammar al-Hakim, Nouri al-Maliki, Haidar al-Abadi, and a number of other officials.

Saeroon Coalition, which is supported by leader of the Sadrist movement Muqtada al-Sadr, did not attend the meeting even though it is the most prominent political bloc in Iraq.

Saeroon MP Salam al-Shammari said the bloc's members didn't attend the meeting because they consider it as a “return to square one.”

Salvation and Development Front, led by former Speaker Osama al-Nujaifi, condemned the decisions taken at the meeting.

The Front issued a statement announcing that the leadership rejects the results of the meeting after reviewing them, saying they aim to consolidate the influence of the political elite and do not bring the change demanded by the people.

Head of Iraqi Consultancy Board Farhad Alaeddin noted that regardless of all the decisions taken and their effectiveness, all political parties want to approach the demands of the Religious Authority in Najaf.

Alaeddin explained to Asharq Al-Awsat that in the recent sermon, the Religious Authority blamed the political parties for the current situation, declaring their distrust of the authorities' intentions about reform.

Most political forces, especially Shiites, had welcomed the message of the Religious Authority and expressed their support, said Alaeddin, adding that the three authorities tried to find solutions in its usual classic way of issuing statements and lengthy meetings which did not carry anything new.

CEO of AKKAD Center for Strategic Affairs and Future Studies Hussein Allawi said that it is possible to hold early elections if the government fails to deliver on its promise within 45 days.

He added that in the light of the current crisis and the lack of political dialogue between the Iraqi forces, the country needs early elections as a political solution.

Meanwhile, Spokesperson for the office of PM Saad al-Hadithi announced that Abdul Mahdi will submit reforms and present a list with names for ministers of services, economics, and all others concerned with the reforms that meet the demands of the protesters.

He pointed out that some of the candidates have been chosen and others are being selected purely based on professional competences and according to the PM’s convictions, aside from any political interventions.

Hadithi added that the PM will soon present the parliament with his plan for a cabinet reshuffle, calling for parliament’s support to develop a new mechanism and select new ministers away from political quotas or parties and blocs’ influences.

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