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Coordination Framework Clings on to Shiite Demand to Name Iraq PM

Coordination Framework Clings on to Shiite Demand to Name Iraq PM

Thursday, 5 May, 2022 - 06:15
03 May 2022, Iraq, Baghdad: A child aims a toy gun at an amusement park in Sadr City district as children celebrate on the second day of the feast of Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. (dpa)

The Shiite Coordination Framework grouping of mainly pro-Iran forces in Iraq revealed on Wednesday a new initiative aimed at resolving the political impasse in the country that has thwarted the formation of a new government and election of a president six months after parliamentary polls were held.

The initiative did not introduce any new ideas in resolving the crisis, but largely rehashed previous "failed" proposals.

It notably clung on to the demand voiced by the majority of Framework members that the Shiites, who make up the majority of the population, should be entitled to naming a new prime minister.

This means that the Framework's Shiite rival, cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, who was the main winner in the parliamentary elections, would be forced to ally himself with the grouping to resolve the crisis.

The cleric has for months been refusing to work with the Framework, opting to instead align himself with the Sunni "sovereignty coalition" and Kurdistan Democratic Party. He is likely to snub the Framework's initiative.

Observers believe the initiative is a ploy aimed at forcing Sadr to work with the Framework and eventually hold him responsible for the continuation of the impasse should a breakthrough fail to be reached.

Iraqis largely view the Framework as the main power that is obstructing political work in the country because it holds the so-called "blocking third" power in parliament that can hinder agreements.

The new initiative called for national dialogue between all parties to discuss solutions without preconditions. It urged Kurdish parties to "exert efforts to agree on a presidential candidate"

It called for "taking into consideration the Shiite majority when it comes to the position of the prime minister."

It said that the ruling majority would "vow to protect the parliamentary opposition and empower it at parliament."

It vowed to review all contracts, offers and appointments in the caretaker government. It said it would amend the parliamentary electoral law in line with the views of the Federal Supreme Court and protect the rights and interests of minorities.

It pledged to "organize the relationship" between the federal government in Iraq and the Kurdish government in Erbil in a way that "ensure the rights of all parties, rebuilds the liberated areas and resolves problems of the displaced."

In what was seen as an attempt to appease Sadr, the Framework stressed it would reject attempts to normalize relations with Israel.

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