Sadr gives independent members of parliament 15 days to form an 'independent government'

He revealed that the Sadrist Movement would not have any ministerial position in the government, which he describes as independent.
Sadrist Movement leader Muqtada al-Sadr (Photo: Muqtada al-Sadr Media Office)
Sadrist Movement leader Muqtada al-Sadr (Photo: Muqtada al-Sadr Media Office)

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Sadrist Movement leader Muqtada al-Sadr on Wednesday called on the independent members of the Iraqi Parliament to form an "independent government" that his coalition will vote into power. 

"We call on the independent members in the parliament to form an independent bloc that includes no less than 40 independent members, far from the Shiite Coordination Framework (SCF)," Sadr tweeted. "The independent members should join the Saving the Homeland alliance and form an independent government." 

"The Saving the Homeland alliance, the biggest bloc in the parliament, will vote for the independent government," he added.

Sadr pointed out that his movement consulted with the Sunni and the Kurdish parties within the Saving the Homeland alliance regarding this new initiative. 

He revealed that the Sadrist Movement would not have any ministerial position in the government, which he describes as independent. 

Sadr gave a deadline of 15 days to the independent members to decide in this regard and form an "independent government."

"The biggest national alliance, Saving the Homeland, which calls for a majority government so far couldn't form a government because of the federal court's decision," Sadr tweeted. "We gave 40 days to the SCF that calls for forming a consensual government, to form the government, but it failed to do so." 

The Iraqi Supreme Federal Court ruled that at least 220 parliament members out of the 329 members should attend the parliament session to meet the quorum for electing the president and prime minister. 

In his new initiative, Sadr repeated his call on some political parties allied with the SCF, whom Sadr calls "the good ones", to leave the alliance and join his coalition. 

The SCF launched a new initiative on Tuesday to resolve the ongoing political impasse in Iraq and form a new government. 

Read More: Shiite Coordination Framework launches new initiative to resolve Iraq's political deadlock

The SCF initiative included a roadmap for resuming negotiation among the political parties, a proposal for Erbil-Baghdad disputes, guidance for choosing the next Iraqi president and prime minister, and calls for restructuring Iraq's electoral institution and changing its members. 

In a statement, the SCF announced that, together with allied political parties, it would soon form a negotiating committee to begin dialogue with the other political parties to implement its initiative.

However, Sadr ignored the SCF initiative to form a consensus government and introduced his initiative the following day, Wednesday. 

Tuesday's SCF statement also called on the independent members of the parliament to nominate a candidate for prime minister, pointing out that the SCF must approve the candidate. 

The two rivals, SCF and the Saving the Homeland coalition are left with the same card in the Iraqi political game: the independent members. Since neither of them can form a government alone, both are now competing in the race to win the independent members over to their side to form a government they would support. 

Read More: Sadrists deny any 'political understanding' with rivals on government formation 

On Apr. 2, the SCF intended to launch an initiative to resolve the political impasse. However, Sadr preempted that initiative by announcing his withdrawal from the government formation efforts. He gave the SCF 40 days to form a new government or accept their failure and enter the opposition. 

Read More: Shiite Coordination Framework avoids responding to al-Sadr's withdrawal, announces move to resolve "political blockage"