It has been a long night for most Iraqi officials as they embarked on lengthy negotiations on Wednesday to finalize their electoral alliances.
The long talks, which lasted until the registration deadline on Thursday, took place as Baghdad and most of Iraq’s provinces were hit by a series of earthquakes, and seismic monitoring centers announced that the earthquake magnitude had reached 5 degrees.
Block and party leaders continued to discuss the issue of alliances until the registration deadline, although the Election Commission extended the deadline more than once in order to give everyone a better chance to complete the negotiations, which lasted until the last minute.
The Sunni blocs have decided on an alliance of former Prime Minister and National Coalition leader Iyad Allawi with Speaker of Parliament Salim al-Jubouri and former Deputy Prime Minister Saleh al-Mutlaq. However, the majority of Shiite forces, whether represented by the Coalition for the Rule of Law led by Nouri al-Maliki, or the list representing the Popular Mobilization Forces, have not yet decided a few hours before the date. limit.
The deputy representing the Coalition for the Rule of Law, Rehab Abouda, explained that the delay of the Shiite-Shiite coalition is attributed to the issue of “number one”. She told Asharq al-Awsat that the choice of the first candidate at the top of the list appears to be the main obstacle as it will decide who will lead the government after the next elections.
The commander of the Badr organization, Karim Nouri, criticized the Shiite rulers and told Asharq al-Awsat that “the striking paradox is that the political forces supporting the holding of the elections on time” have stagnated and did not put themselves forward. agreeing on a name, questioning which forces requested a postponement, with reference to Sunni forces.
However, MP Iyad al-Jubouri, member of the Allawi-Jubouri-Mutlaq coalition, told Asharq al-Awsat that the disagreement over the name of “the main man” was “not the first priority” in the discussions. negotiations to form an alliance.
“The coalition, which includes many Sunni parties and forces with Iyad Allawi, had decided,” Jubouri said, adding that the coalition was not constrained by a certain sect, just as in the 2010 elections when the Iraqi List was elected. won the majority of votes, but was denied. the opportunity to form a government, even if it was led by a Shiite candidate.
Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi’s press secretary Haidar Hamadeh announced that Abadi would stand for election with a “trans-sectarian” alliance, under the name “Victory” (al-Nasr), but did not not specified which parties are part of it.
In a press release, Hamadeh said that “a large number of candidates for the blocs and alliances want to join the coalition, including the volunteers who fought ISIS,” adding that Abadi said the candidates from the coalition should not set quota conditions in government positions. .
Speaking at a press conference in Basra, 560 kilometers south of Baghdad, US Ambassador to Iraq Douglas Silliman said the elections would help build democracy, stressing that “A conference will be held in Kuwait next month to help rebuild Iraq.”