Towards National Partnership in Iraq

  • 4 April 2010

None of Iraq’s political blocs that participated in recent elections have been able to secure a majority in the new parliament, which has raised prospects for the formation of a coalition government at the center. This explains the active efforts made by various parties of different political orientations toward forging new political alignments, which has consequently raised new set of controversies and tensions at various levels.

There were several positive indicators in the recent elections related to voter turnout and polling trends, particularly the retreat of sectarian preferences in the choice of voters. However, subsequent developments have raised fears of a political reversion to sectarianism in wake of the emerging political equations, which point to a relapse in the nationalist movement, whose incipient progress first became evident in the provincial elections and then gained momentum in the recent parliamentary elections. Undoubtedly, any sectarian orientation of the new Iraqi government would rob the recent election of its positive signs, and might give way to dangerous tensions that will adversely impact the future of Iraq and the nature of its relations among its various sects. Herein lies the importance of the call for a government of “national partnership,” made by Ammar Al-Hakim, President of the Islamic Supreme Council and leader of the Iraqi National Coalition. The call also gains importance as a source close to Ayatollah Ali Al Sistani called on all Iraqi blocs in the elections to promote the country’s interests and adopt a compromise situation, in order to form the next Iraqi government. In addition, Iyad Allawi, Head of the Iraqi National List that won most seats in parliament, has warned of the return of sectarian violence if a sectarian government is formed at the center.

There is a need for a national dialogue among all Iraqi forces to ensure that the next government reflects the voters’ will and is capable of bringing progress to Iraq, which would allow the new parliament to become more active, especially in light of the major challenges facing the country and requiring the greatest degree of solidarity and cooperation among all its forces.