Winners in Iraqi Democracy

Six months after elections in Iraq, the armed groups are still engaged in wranglings on power sharing. They have not yet agreed on a president and a prime minister. This is even though Iraq is facing complex economic, security and service problems now.

In these elections, the Sadrist movement (a movement led by Muqtada Al-Sadr) won 73 seats, which is the largest in parliament. But it does not have enough numbers to form the largest bloc alone. Therefore, it allied itself with the Kurdistan Democratic Party, led by Massoud Barzani, and the “Sovereignty Alliance” led by Parliament Speaker Muhammad Al-Halbousi. This is how these groups formed an alliance which has 146 seats. Now they can declare themselves as the largest bloc in Parliament in the session which will elect the president of the Republic.

But the armed forces, which lost most of their parliamentary seats, are leaving no opportunity for protesting, questioning, and challenging the election results. But, their appeals failed, as the Election Commission rejected them, and then the Federal Court approved the results.

After failure in all sorts of protests and manoeuvrings they resorted to violence. These forces are apparently unwilling to cooperate with the winners to facilitate the formation of the government.  The interests of Iraq, its unity and future are the last things about which these forces care. Those who should work as a fifth column in Iraq are working to weaken it and impede its progress.

[by Hamid Alkifaey in Sky News Arabia]

Turkey and Russia-Ukraine War

Turkey has its legitimate approach to balance its commitments to NATO on the one hand, and its own national interests which require it to maintain a relationship with Russia on the other. So far, Turkey is maintaining its balance in the conflict. But its margin of manoeuvrings would narrow if the conflict continued to be prolonged, the confrontation between Russia and the West intensifies, and sanctions are used on a larger scale. Moreover, Washington’s pressure on Ankara to continue supplying Ukraine with drones carries some fundamental risks for Turkey and its relationship with Russia, especially if the war turns into a protracted proxy conflict.

It can be argued that the strategy of maximum Western pressure on Russia will serve Turkey’s interests if it leads to an acceleration of the end of the war and a political settlement of the conflict. But the indications of this possibility seem to be very weak, given that President Vladimir Putin had a military setback in Ukraine and does not seem to be ready to retreat before achieving the point which can be marketed at home and abroad as evidence of the Russian victory. 

If the Turkish mediation efforts fail, Ankara will find itself facing two major dilemmas. If it remained neutral, it could marginalise its long-term interests and affect its partnership with Ukraine and the West. If it is involved in the conflict, it would put its interests with Russia at great risk. Therefore, Turkey is trying to avoid both these dilemmas.

[by Mahmoud Allouch in Aljazeera]

Compiled and Translated by Faizul Haque

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