Iraq’s parliamentary crisis; Domestic issue or foreign plot?

Alwaght- These days Iraq is dealing with hard times as on the one hand at least one third of its territory is held by the terrorist group ISIS and on the other hand the capital Baghdad is hit by a political crisis.

Since a couple of weeks ago, the pro-Sadrist Movement protestors have taken to the streets, asking the Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi to form a technocrat cabinet. At the same time, the parliament’s organization is marred by strikes and crisis since few days ago.

The Sadrist Movement during its marches has urged PM al-Abadi to remove the current cabinet and propose an all-technocrat and skilled one to the parliament. The demonstrators wanted the new government be unaffected by sectarian groupings and power-sharing mechanisms between different political groups, rather, it should be, they asked, powered by technocracy and expertise of its members.

The Iraqi PM responded positively to the protestors and sit-inners in Baghdad’s Green Zone and presented a new line-up of cabinet nominees to the country’s parliament.

Following the PM’s proposal of nominees, however, the parliament’s political situation did not move toward a direction to allow the new changes bear good results for the country. A sit-in of some of lawmakers and their opposition to Salim al-Jubouri being the speaker of the country’s parliament have practically hampered the process of verification of the newly presented candidates and protracted a 10-day schedule for approval process of new ministers to over a month.

Why are some of the country’s politicians fueling the crisis amid the critical conditions of Iraq?

While the politicians at the highly secure Green Zone are busy scuffling, the Iraqi forces, including the police, army and the voluntary forces, are battling the terrorism across the country.

Opposition to abolition of sectarian power-sharing system and the political groups’ demanding key shares in the government could be considered as one of the major reasons behind the politicians’ moves to disrupt the parliament and create a political crisis in the country.

While some believe that the crisis could have internal roots, others think that the orders for fanning tensions could come to Baghdad from beyond the Iraqi borders.

During Saddam Hussein’s rule, all of the political and sectarian groups in Iraq were suppressed. Among all, the Shiite Muslims received the largest share of the executions by the former regime. The anti-government Sunnis didn’t survive Saddam Hussein’s clampdowns either. During his rule, Saddam Hussein saved the power within the Baath Party and his relatives, keeping the other sectarian and political groups away from playing any role in Iraq’s politics.

In 2003 the US-led foreign forces invaded Iraq, toppled Saddam Hussein and established a wrong system of power-sharing among different Iraqi ethnic groups. The new system was that every ministry and post had to be given to a special political or sectarian group. This came while a large part of the Iraqi community demanded formation of a technocrat government. In such a way, the power-sharing political system of Iraq could waver and thus the political groups which gained power through this system would feel the jeopardy. Thereby, the best way for them is to hinder new cabinet formation of PM al-Abadi, and because the parliament is the center of changes in politics, their prior target automatically becomes the legislative body.

The county’s parliament in its session, held on Tuesday with attendance of 183 lawmakers, approved nominates for six ministries: health, labor and social affairs, water resources, electricity, higher education, and culture while some others failed to win the MPs’ approval.

While the new cabinet is partially moving towards its finalization, the crisis in the parliament also makes the government suffer because only a bit more than half of the total 328 members of the parliament took part in the approval session- an issue that could turn the government into a fragile entity while it is involved in an anti-terror fight.

By Al Waght