The Sairoon coalition of which the leader is part will play a key role in the formation process of the next government, which however promises to be long and complex
It is the day of Muqtada al Sadr in Baghdad and throughout Iraq, where the defeat of the parliamentary elections held two days ago are now being completed. Although the consultations clearly showed an increase in abstention, the Sardist Movement had the upper hand, founded and led by the Shiite leader who was the protagonist of a personal exploit at the polls. The al Sadr faction is part of the Sairoon parliamentary coalition which, according to the numbers still in progress but already sufficiently eloquent, would win the majority in the national assembly which remains, however, highly fragmented. The first estimates give Sairoon 73 seats out of 329, about twenty seats more than the 2018 elections.
The data and the controversy on the turnout
The Iraqi commission in charge of the elections released the data according to which 41% of the voters took part in the consultations on Sunday. That would be 9 million people out of the 22 million registered voters.
However, many political forces and some voters accused the commission of inflating the numbers, arguing that the actual turnout would be 34% of the 27 million eligible, without excluding the five million Iraqis who refused to register on the eve of the vote. . Some even dispute that nine million actually voted, given the mostly empty streets across much of the nation on election day. Furthermore, many people have complained about the malfunction of
The low turnout puts forward one of the main questions that these elections should have redeemed, namely those linked to the legitimacy of the Iraqi regime. It should be remembered that Sunday’s were early elections, called after the resignation of the previous head of government Adel Abdul Mahdi, and the subsequent appointment of the current one, Mustafa al Kadhimi. On that occasion, great protests arose throughout the country, in favor of which today’s winner at Sadr took sides.
Sunday’s participation, therefore, did not provide a solid response to the need for “reconciliation” with the electorate of Iraqi institutions as a whole, similar to what happened in the 2003 elections after the fall of Saddam Hussein’s regime.
«Early elections – writes the Middle East Eye – held under a better and more accommodating electoral law that did not favor large parties like the old law, they were the main concession the political class was willing to make to bring in Iraqis out of love after six months of mass protest movement that has won national sympathy ». Also in this case, the last judgment is given by the turnout, the strategy of “restorative elections” does not seem to have worked.
A “stew” parliament
While the verdict of the polls is being defined, it seems that the next parliament in Baghdad will reconnect, also due to the fragmented structure, to the dynamics of division of power typical of politics that have characterized the last years of Middle Eastern democracy.
The party currents that will find space in the assembly – each of which eager to have its say and to forge relations with al Sadr – could mean a long process of forming a national government. “The main stumbling block is that relating to appointments,” the observers from the Middle East write, assigning a key role in the timing of the formation of the government to the balance in the distribution of cabinet seats.
«Secondly – continues the Middle East Eye – a fragmented parliament will result in an ineffective and frustrating decision-making process that must take into account the widely different, sometimes irreconcilable, interests of many political actors ”.