The pro-Iran faction in Iraq is sticking to its election for prime minister


Iraq’s main coalition of pro-Iranian parties said Monday it would keep its nominee for prime minister despite a backlash from its main Shia rival.

The country is at a political impasse as the two main Shia groups have been at odds over who the next prime minister will be and how he should be appointed since October 2021 elections.

The group around the Iraqi Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr wants the dissolution of parliament and early elections, but the Coordination Framework alliance of pro-Tehran factions wants a government to be installed first.

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On Monday, the Coordination Framework said it had reached an “understanding” with other political groups on how to proceed.

In a press release published by the state news agency INA, the Coordination Framework reiterated “its full commitment to its candidate for the post of prime minister, Mohammed Shia al-Sudani”.

The group’s nomination of the Sudanese for prime minister had previously angered al-Sadr, whose supporters stormed parliament at the end of July demanding new elections. They then staged a week-long sit-in outside the legislature.

On Monday, the coordination framework claimed to have reached “agreements with the national armed forces”.

She said she would “continue dialogue with all parties… to form a fully empowered government.”

The coordination framework also welcomed a statement by Sunni-backed parliamentary speaker Mohammed al-Halbussi and the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP).

On Sunday, these two factions reiterated their support for “early elections” which, however, were preceded by “the formation of a government”.

The recent crisis in Iraq culminated in late August, when al-Sadr supporters clashed with the army and Iran-backed factions.

More than 30 al-Sadr supporters were killed and hundreds injured in nearly 24 hours of violence that ended when he called his supporters to retreat and announced his retirement from politics.

According to the Iraqi Constitution, Parliament can only be dissolved by an absolute majority in the House of Representatives at the request of a third of the MPs or by the Prime Minister with the President’s consent.

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