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Large blocs in Iraq avoid coalition with former prime minister

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi speaks at the United States Institute of Peace on ties with the US and the war with Daesh in Washington, USA on March 20, 2017. ( Samuel Corum/ Anadolu Agency )
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi speaks at the United States Institute of Peace on ties with the US and the war with Daesh in Washington, USA on 20 March, 2017 [Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency]

Iraq's Prime Minister and Leader of Al-Nasser Coalition (Victory Alliance), Haider Al-Abadi, has been trying to avoid making a coalition with his predecessor, Nouri Al-Maliki, Al-Araby Al-Jadeed reported on Monday. Working with the Sa'eroon Coalition leader Muqtada Al-Sadr, Al-Abadi has been exerting efforts to avoid such a deal. Al-Nasser and Sa'eroon are the largest coalitions in the new Iraqi parliament.

Meanwhile, another Coalition, Al-Fateh, formed mainly by Al-Hashd Al-Shaabi (the Popular Mobilisation Forces), has been trying to bring Al-Maliki closer to the largest groups. "Al-Fateh Coalition, headed by Hadi Al-Ameri, is trying to bring the ex-Prime Minister closer to the coalition of Sa'eroon, Al-Nasser and Al-Fateh," explained one Sa'eroon official. He noted that such an effort "will bring the Shia home together again."

The official, who refused to give his name, said that all three groups have the same stance towards Al-Maliki, but they have set conditions for him to join the coalition. One of these, he explained, is that he will not be given any of the sovereign ministries to run. This and other conditions are expected to be unacceptable to him.

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Al-Abadi and Al-Sadr announced a non-sectarian coalition on Saturday that includes their own groups in order to guarantee the largest parliamentary bloc. They insisted that they are open to anyone.

Meanwhile, Al-Maliki is working to announce a new political initiative with a meeting of all Shia political blocs. The intention is for those attending to agree on the allocation of the sovereign ministries and the government's programme.

Al-Maliki was the Iraqi Prime Minister between 2006 and 2014. Many rights violations and the detention of thousands of innocent people on political and sectarian grounds occurred during his time in office. Allegations of vast sums of state money being wasted have also been made.

More than five million people were displaced on his watch after their homes were occupied by Daesh. The Iraqi people blamed him, as the then Commander of the armed forces, for the massacre of 1,700 army cadets by Daesh inside the "Spiker" military college in 2014.

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