Soleimani’s 2nd Death – The Media Line

Asharq Al-Awsat, London, October 14

Well done, Iraq! This is the phrase that came to my mind after the successful conclusion of Iraq’s biggest general elections, which passed without a single incident. These congratulations seemed worthy for several reasons. First, the elections – the fifth since the liberation of Iraq in 2003 – reveal that, despite the political setbacks suffered by the Iraqi people, the process of transition to democracy is still alive and well underway. These elections also reaffirmed the invaluable consensus that had been reached among Iraqis from all political backgrounds that gaining and seizing power is only legitimate through democratic elections. The era of conquering or losing power through rebellions, military coups, street riots, foreign invasions or assassinations is definitely over in Iraq. As parliament is the sole channel for the exercise of the powers of the people, the results of the elections will determine who will exercise the functions of president and prime minister. Moreover, due to a system of proportional representation, no sect, party or group can obtain the monopoly of all state institutions. In a country that has suffered for decades from a brutal one-party system, elections today have the healing power of unity in diversity. Indeed, the fact that elections have taken place in itself is a cause for celebration. Certainly, major actors, including certain foreign actors and drunken political barons of power, did everything to prevent these elections. For months, the official media in the Islamic Republic of Iran have opposed the holding of early elections in Iraq. And when it became clear that the electoral process was still going to take place, Tehran began to work to influence its outcome. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has provided $ 200 million from the National Emergency Fund to enable the Quds Force, Tehran’s foreign legion which operates in many countries in the region, to return its proxies to power Iraqis. Tehran media described the Iraqi elections as “Qasem Soleimani elections,” implicitly indicating that Iraqi voters will justify the general’s death by voting overwhelmingly for his local agents. Since Iraqis living abroad could not vote this time around, the Quds Force organized daily trips for an unknown number of dual nationals living in Iran, some of whom have lived in Iran for decades, to vote for the candidates. of the Quds Force. However, as the results revealed, the performance of Tehran’s election officials was worse than anyone could have imagined. It should be noted here that the militia-dominated bloc led by Hadi Al-Amiri lost 35 of its 50 seats. The biggest winner was from the Shiite side, the dissident Muqtada Al-Sadr bloc, which called for limiting arms possession to the state alone. In other words, the people voted to dissolve the Iranian-controlled militias. And, over the past few days, the Iranian media have tried to find some solace in the fact that former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has managed to stay in the game, describing it as a victory for “the path of martyr Soleimani “. “Yet Maliki, although always close to the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, was never a boss of Soleimani, simply because General Soleimani was intolerant of anyone with a sense of self-worth. In contrast, we note that Soleimani’s ideal servant is Hassan Nasrallah, the head of Hezbollah, who, according to General Soleimani’s only long interview, “would not have drunk water without consulting us.” In an effort to reduce the impact Iraqi elections, Iranian state media also focused on the issue of “low voter turnout.” Indeed, the last election only attracted 43 percent of registered voters, one or two points lower than the previous one. However, the official Tehran media quickly dropped the topic, as it reminded people of the declining voter turnout in the recent Iranian presidential elections. In addition, the recent Iraqi elections These exhibited other interesting characteristics. This is the first election of its kind to be held in 83 constituencies, instead of 18 large constituencies. The new rule allows voters to elect individual candidates, rather than lists provided by party coalitions. The use of biometric cards has also helped prevent organized fraud. The fact that a large number of candidates, some 3,500, contested for the 329 seats underlines the continuing appeal of the democratic process to a growing segment of Iraqi citizens. Among those who took part in the elections were the highest number recorded to date of young activists, women and independent individuals. It is clear that a new generation of Iraqi politicians is taking shape. The fact that young activists, who represented street protesters before the COVID-19 crisis, won more than 8% of the seats may indicate the emergence of new trends in Iraqi politics. The results also indicate a faster exclusion of former exiles and binationals who until recently dominated the political scene in Baghdad. Iranian media last week described the Iraqi elections as “the first test for General Esmail Qaani”, the lackluster bureaucrat who replaced the ostentatious Soleimani. Well, Qaani came out with the loss he deserved. As for Soleimani, assassinated in Baghdad, his ghost is now witnessing death for the second time in a row. – Amir Taheri (translated by Asaf Zilberfarb)

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