The effect of “Maliki” leaks on the election process for the Iraqi president

Translated by Farah El Desouky

The audio leaks of ” Nuri al-Maliki ”, head of the State of Law coalition in which he charged the murder of ” Muqtadi al-Sadr ”, head of the Sadrist movement and the majority in the parliamentary elections held in October 2021؛ The controversy again، Especially since it comes at a critical time in the Mesopotamia after the political forces failed to form an alliance that undertakes the task of forming a government or electing a new president of the republic who in turn nominates a prime minister, which exacerbated From the case of “ political blockage ” in Iraq.

Political blockage:

Leaks published by Iraqi journalist “Ali Fadel” Resident in Washington on his account on the social media site “Twitter” on July 17, 2022، In which “Al-Maliki” announced that the country will witness “a fierce war” in the event that “chest”, the Iraqi parliament president and some Shiite and Kurdish forces are not addressed، Reveals the intensity of the conflict between the Shiite forces, which is not Western. Both “Maliki” and” chest” have had tense relationships for years، However, those leaks came at a time when the strong coordination framework for selecting the new prime minister was preparing، Especially after the Sadrist current withdrew from the political scene, leaving the scene to the coordination framework led by “Al-Maliki” to carry out the task of forming the prospective government.

It should be noted that in January 2022 the Iraqi parliament announced the opening of the candidacy for the post of President of the Republic as successor to President “ Barham Salih ” outgoing، At that time, the Speaker of Parliament “ Muhammad Al-Halbousi ” set a period of 15 days to receive applications for candidacy in accordance with the constitution, and 25 candidates competed for this position, including the current president، However, the political parties in Parliament failed to elect a new president, which led to the parliament violating the constitutional framework, because it is assumed according to the Iraqi constitution، That the President of the Republic be elected within a period of 30 days from the first session of Parliament, yet about four sessions have been held during the past months, all of which have been unsuccessful.

And based on the power-sharing system used in Mesopotamia since the American invasion of Iraq in 2003 and the overthrow of the late Iraqi president “Saddam Hussein” ، The president of the country is a Kurdish and his prime minister is Shiite, while the speaker of parliament is from the year, and this is to avoid any state of sectarian conflict between these parties.

Accordingly, it was assumed that a session to elect the President of the Republic would be held on July 18, 2022, but it was postponed, so that the deputy would go out in the coordination framework, Ahmed Al-Mousawi, on July 23، Saying that the candidates for the coordination framework and the Kurdish house will be decided in a session in Parliament to be held next week (without specifying a specific day).

Based on the above, the question that arises in this regard is، Do the “Maliki” leaks to keep him out of the political arena and return “chest” again to the scene and resolve the crisis of government formation and the election of the president of the country? And before answering this question، It should be noted that there are some obstacles that prevented the selection of the new Iraqi president, as follows:

( * ) The quorum for the selection of the President of the country is incomplete: In every session of the Iraqi parliament regarding the selection of a new president for the republic, he faces an obstacle represented by the incomplete quorum necessary to choose the president، Where Parliament needs to start holding a session to elect a president for the country, a quorum of two-thirds, that is, 220 of 329 deputies, which has failed so far، In the session held last February, only 58 out of 329 deputies attended, and the rest of the deputies boycotted the session. On March 7, only 202 deputies attended, while the session was boycotted by 126 deputies، At the third session, on March 30, 2022, 200 deputies attended، That is why the last session to choose the president of the country was supposed to be according to what the Federal Court announced (the highest judicial authority in Iraq) on April 6th, but this did not happen.

( * ) The differing visions of the political forces about state administration: After the parliamentary elections, all the forces began to present what they wanted regarding the shape of the next government، And agreeing among themselves on the name of a candidate for the presidency of the government to succeed ” Mustafa Al-Kazemi ” the current prime minister، However, the absence of political consensus between the “ Save the Country ” led by “ Muqtada al-Sadr ” who wants to be a national majority government in which his alliance participates only because he has a majority of more than 170 deputies، The forces of “ the coordination framework ” led by “ Nuri al-Maliki ” in which you want a consensual government in which everyone participates, prevented the formation of the government, which in turn exacerbated the differences within Parliament regarding the selection of the President of the Republic، This is in addition to the failure of the Sadrist movement before announcing its withdrawal from the political scene in concluding an agreement with “ Independent Representatives ” to support the tripartite alliance to achieve the quorum necessary to choose the president of the country.

(*) The aggravation of the political divide within the Kurdish component: The Kurdish political forces have so far failed to agree on one candidate for the position of President of the Republic, which has contributed to the exacerbation of the political congestion between the two main Kurdish parties. The most prominent candidates for the Kurdistan Union Party are، The current president “ Barham Salih ”, the former Minister of Water Resources “ Latif Rashid ”, while the candidates for the Kurdistan Democratic Party are، ” Hoshyar Zebari ” The former foreign minister, which was permanently excluded from running for president by a judicial decision in February 2022, because he did not meet the constitutional requirements due to accusations of corruption، There is also “ Ribar Ahmed ” Kurdish intelligence official and current interior minister in the Kurdistan region of Iraq.

It is worth noting that after the change of Iraqi law after 2003, and the agreement that the President of the Republic be a Kurdish, the National Union and the Democratic Party are among the main Kurdish parties on the Iraqi political scene، They signed an agreement whereby the president of the country would be from the National Union, and would receive the presidency of the Kurdistan Region as a candidate from the Democratic Party, but in the 2018 elections، The situation changed as both parties nominated separate candidates for the same position, and at that time “ Barham Salih ” Member of the Federation won a majority of the House of Representatives votes.

Accordingly, the head of the National Union Bloc “ Harim Kamal Agha ” early July 2022, revealed negotiations that the Union is conducting with the Democratic Party on the dissolution of the presidency، Indicating that the Union adheres to the nomination of “ Barham Salih ” to take up this position, noting that if the parties do not agree on a particular candidate, in this case the 2018 experience will be repeated، That each party go to the parliament hall with their candidate. For her part, the spokesperson for the Union Bloc “ Susan Mansour ” On July 17, 2022, explained that the visit of the President of the National Union “ Pavel Jalal Talabani ” to the Iraqi capital Baghdad، It comes with the goal of understandings regarding the election of the President of the Republic.

Timing indication:

In addition to those obstacles that prevent the selection of a new president for the country, it is worth noting that leaks have been issued to the head of the State of Law Coalition “ Nuri al-Maliki ” at this particular time، The door opens to talk about new developments that the Iraqi political scene will soon witness, especially since the leaked records are not against “ Al-Muttada Al-Sadr ” only، Rather, it is against the Iraqi Shiite reference “ Ali Al-Sistani ” who was accused by “ Al-Maliki ” in leaking with ” Silent ” who does not move around the possibility of the Baathists returning to power again ( a reference to the Baath Party that was ruling The country during Saddam Hussein’s rule ), this is in addition to accusing the Iraqi parliamentarian “ Al-Halbousi ” of penetrating strong coordination framework meetings, and not only that, but described the Shiites as ” ” saying that “ ordered them in the hands of Iran ”.

Although “ Al-Maliki ” denied the authenticity of those audio recordings, there is a lawsuit filed against him regarding verification of this، This makes the political scene open to the leader of the Sadrist movement to ally with other parties in order to form the government, especially after he called “ Maliki ” after these leaks to retire from political action and demanded all political blocs to confront Anyone with subversive ideas to lead Iraq ( in reference to Maliki ).

Possible repercussions:

Based on the foregoing, it can be said that the Iraqi political scene after the “ Maliki ” leaks that sparked angry reactions inside the Iraqi street, especially those supporting ” Muqtadi al-Sadr ” and his allies، Several repercussions may witness during the coming period, the first of which is the return of “ Muqtada al-Sadr ” to the political scene again and the work to form a government with the forces opposing ” al-Maliki ” from within the coordination framework, and secondly، It is the possibility of divisions and divisions within the coordination framework coalition, especially the State of Law coalition that presides over “ owners ”, especially since the framework condemned in a statement what the head of the State of Law coalition said، This facilitates the process of political understandings between some parties within the strong framework with the Sadrist movement, while the third possibility is that the House of Representatives be dissolved and early elections are called، Especially with the possibility of the return of sharp differences, whether at the political or military level between the Kurdish parties in the event that you do not agree on a specific candidate to head the country.

نورا فايد

باحثة ببرنامج دراسات الخليج العربي، حاصلة على بكالوريوس علوم سياسية، كلية الاقتصاد والعلوم السياسية جامعة القاهرة، وباحثة مشاركة في عدد من المراكز البحثية السياسية، مهتمة بدراسة الشأن الإيراني وحركات الإسلام السياسي.

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