The leader of Sayirun, Muqtada al-Sadr, met with Ammar al-Hakim, a prominent Shia leader of the National Hikma Movement last week. The two met in the city Najaf to discuss the future of the new Iraqi government, Muqtada al-Sadr has won in the electoral running for parliament by taking most of thet seats so the responsibility will fall on his shoulders. The two agreed that a government that represented the people of Iraq was what the nation needed, obviously. Sadr has long been an anti-U.S. proponent and popular cleric within the Shiite community. Sadr claims he may support Haider al-Abadi as Prime Minister for another term and said the two share close similarities as far as governmental goals go. Sadr told press after the meeting that,
I am thankful to the Iraqi people who voted in the current elections, those who helped reform triumph. [For] even those who abstained from voting, thank you, as they didn’t give their votes to the corrupt. God willing, we are looking at a new stage for building in Iraq a democratic, paternal and technocratic government.”
Though the two men have not always been on the best of terms as leaders, it appears they are setting aside their differences for the time being. Sadr, according to various sources close to him, has said he would never meet with Hakim in a political fashion or share a unified platform post-election.
Hakim and his alliance only achieved sixth place in the elections though. According to Hakim, the meeting was a “valuable opportunity,” to discuss the election and the subsequent results as well as possible alliances within the new government. Hakim told local media that,
We examined the necessity of forming a government that is national, strong, independent in its political decisions, dependent on the will of the free Iraqi nation, and with a national orientation that transcends components and represents all the sons of the people of Iraq … It is clear that the decrease in turnout in elections is a message from the people of Iraq that they want new faces, serious programs and steps to provide the necessary and proper services to the sons of our people.”
Though the meeting was a good start according to Hakim, they have a long way to go. Both men were hopeful for future delegations between their parties in an effort to stop government corruption and promote cross-ethnic and ethnic cooperation with an emphasis on reform.
Featured image courtesy of مالهوترا [CC BY-SA 3.0], from Wikimedia Commons