Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has had a fairly successful track record up to this point despite some serious issues the country has faced during his time in office. Muqtada al-Sadr’s spokesman, Sheikh Salah al-Obeidi, claims that Abadi’s predecessor Nouri al-Maliki stands no chance whatsoever though. Maliki’s failures led to the rise of the Islamic State through his severe transgressions against the Sunni Muslims of Iraq. Obeidi added that no new Iraqi government could be organized in Baghdad without the inclusion of the Kurdish minority residing in the country’s northern reaches though.

In an interview with local media reporters, Obeidi stated that,

The main differences are between Sairoon and the State of Law coalition, and it’s all an accumulation of past events, including their prime ministers not having a clear agenda or vision during the twelve years they’ve been in power. During the term of Nouri al-Maliki in particular, when there was an enormous budget nothing was done and the budget wasn’t used properly.”

Muqtada al-Sadr‘s Sayirun bloc, also known as the victory coalition, garnered the majority of parliamentary votes this past May election; in total, they obtained 54 seats within the house. Obeidi went on to explain that the delay in the new government’s formation was “technical because the federal court hasn’t up to this point formally agreed on the final results of the elections and that has to do with the possibility of fraud and vote rigging.”

Obeidi continued by saying that Sayirun considers Prime Minister Abadi a more favorable option for the Victory Coalition. He said, “To be honest the Nasr bloc of Abadi is different, and we believe Abadi had a better performance. So his Nasr could be part of the bigger alliance that could be formed. Maliki stands no chance at all to be chosen as prime minister by us.” Despite this, he added that, “It won’t be Sayirun alone that would choose who becomes prime minister. It’d be a collective decision by all the members of the coalition.”

Sayirun and Muqtada al-Sadr admit that the Kurdish parliament members cannot be excluded in the negotiations pertaining to the new government. Obeidi spoke to this, saying that,

The Kurds are an essential part of Iraqi politics and therefore no government could be formed without regard to the influential role of the Kurds. Mr. Sadr himself has stressed this at every turn and when he went to Baghdad among those he met with Kurdish delegations. There is also one thing, the Kurds themselves haven’t yet made up their minds as to whether they will come to Baghdad as one bloc or two in order to present their demands to the new government.”

Featured image: In this photo provided by the Iraqi government, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, left, meets with Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr in the heavily fortified Green Zone in Baghdad, Iraq, early Sunday, May 20, 2018. Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, whose coalition won the largest number of seats in Iraq’s parliamentary elections, says the next government will be “inclusive.” The May 12 vote did not produce a single bloc with a majority, raising the prospect of weeks or even months of negotiations to agree on a government. | Iraqi Government via AP