Iraq: Call to Change Political System Worrying

A major crisis of confidence is strengthening the internal division, particularly within the “Shiite House”. This scepticism extends to Muqtada Al-Sadr’s relationship with his Sunni and Kurdish allies as well. There has always been suspicion about the attitude of Al-Sadr in making decisions and turning against them, or in weaving and abandoning alliances. It shows that Al-Sadr’s call for regime change was based on his sensing of excess power which is not based on solid internal data and does not rely on external support.

What is remarkable about Al-Sadr’s call to change the political structure and the possibility of making it to be a presidential system, is the recognition that the parliamentary system is responsible for the corrosion, corruption and immorality where Iraq has reached.

The matter is almost identical to the points where Tunisia has reached and made the parliamentary system a sin and held it responsible for the crisis in the country. It was used as a pretext presented by President Kais Saied to push for a new constitution which also became legal after the latest referendum. It marked an end to the post-Ben Ali era, and pulled the country back to a presidential system which makes it difficult for political parties to manoeuvre and act.

Tunisia went through a hard time to pass the new constitution. It means that it is almost impossible in Iraq. The country has a dramatic history, scattered loyalties, and weapons still have the final say.

[by Mohammad Kawas in Sky News Arabia]

Muqtada Al-Sadr is demanding the dissolution of Parliament. A demand which faces a good number of constitutional obstacles. The judiciary does not have the power to dissolve it according to the constitution. Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kazemi cannot ask the President of the Republic of Iraq to dissolve Parliament because he does not have powers to do so. The parliament which can dissolve itself will not do this. Because after the resignation of Al-Sadr’s deputies, the Coordination Framework (an umbrella bloc of Iraqi Shia parties united mostly against Al-Sadr) has the majority. When Nouri Al-Maliki raises his voice, calling on the parliament to reconvene and discuss all the demands, he knows that it will mean a defeat for Al-Sadr, which he will never accept.

A confrontational stalemate paralyses the country and instead of finding solutions within the institutional framework, people take to streets. This is what is seen happening when there were calls from the Al-Sadrist movement and the “Coordinating Framework” to demonstrate in the vicinity of the Iraqi parliament.

In the midst of this predicament, Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kazemi is calling for wisdom and a sense of responsibility, under the slogan “A thousand years of dialogue is better than a moment of collision between Iraqis.” This is a slogan which sounds like a cry in a valley after the conflicting interests at home and the Iranian pressures from across the border control the decisions of various forces which are fighting for power in Iraq.

[by Elias Harfoush in Asharq Al-Awsat]

Compiled and translated by Faizul Haque

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