Muqtada Sadr stresses on forming national majority government
Iraqi Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr on Saturday insisted on the formation of a national majority government, following a call from the Coordination Framework to form the largest parliamentary bloc.

The main winner of October parliamentary election was Sadr, a populist who has positioned himself as a staunch opponent of both Iran and the United States.

Sadr’s bloc, already the biggest in the 329-seat parliament, will expand to 73 seats from 54.

Its main rivals for years, the al-Fateh bloc of factions linked to militia, meanwhile, saw its parliamentary representation collapse to just 17 seats from 48. Former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s State of Law Alliance won 33 seats.

“Today, there is no place for sectarianism … But a national majority government in which Shias defend the rights of minorities, Sunnis and Kurds; the Kurds defend the rights of minorities, Sunnis and Shias; the Sunnis defend the rights of minorities, Shias and Kurds,” Sadr said in a tweet.

 “Today, there is no place for corruption as all sides support reform. Today, there is no place for militias; all sides support the army, police and security forces,” he added.

“Today, we and the people will say: No, our decision is Iraqi Shia, Sunni, Kurdish, Turkmen, Christian, Faili, Shabak, Yazidi, [and] Sabean (an Iraqi national mosaic, neither eastern nor western).”

His remarks came after the Coordination Framework called on the Sadrist Movement to form the largest parliamentary bloc, ahead of the first session of the parliament set for Sunday.

On December 30, Iraqi President Barham Salih issued a decree that convenes new parliament for January 9, following the approval of final results by the federal court.

Lawmakers will elect a parliamentary speaker and two deputies in their first session. They will later elect a new president who will task the leader of the largest bloc to form a government as prime minister.

The Iraqi parties have yet to reach an agreement to form the largest bloc of parliament as no coalition won a majority during the elections.

The Coordination Framework and Sadrist Movement held several rounds of meeting in Najaf in the past weeks.

According to officials from both sides, the Sadrist Movement wanted a national majority government while the Coordination Framework preferred a consensus government.

“The only point of contention between al-Sadr and the coordination framework is that Sadr wants a majority government, but the Coordination Framework wants a consensus government,” Fazil al-Fatlawi, leader in al-Fateh Alliance, told Baghdad Today last week.

Last week, leader in the Coordination Framework Wail Rukabi said the group would form the largest parliamentary bloc if talks with Sadr failed.

 “The Coordination Framework is the largest bloc with 90 seats and will form the government in the event that Sadr rejects a coalition with the group,” Baghdad Today quoted him as saying.

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