Two of Iraq's biggest political blocs form a coalition
Speaking at a joint press conference in the holy City of Najaf on Tuesday, Moqtada al-Sadr, the head of the Sairoon electoral list , has agreed to form a grand coalition with the Al-Fatih bloc led by Hadi al-Amiri.
Moqtada al-Sadr's Sairoon electoral list captured 54 parliamentary seats in last May's election, and was declared the winner. Hadi al-Amiri's Al-Fatih political bloc came in second, capturing 47 parliamentary seats.
Speaking at the joint press conference in Najaf on Tuesday, Moqtada al-Sadr said this could form the basis for a "majority parliamentary faction" in the Iraqi parliament -- a faction which will probably form the new Iraqi government. Sadr also commented on the recent fire at a balloting centre and storage facility in Baghdad, describing the burning of the ballot papers as "a hateful and despicable crime".
In further comments, Moqtada al-Sadr stressed that the al-Fatih political bloc will be joining what he called "the national fatherland majority coalition" , composed of the Sairoon political bloc, the al-Wataniya political bloc led by Ayad Allawi, and the al-Hikmat political bloc, led by Amar al-Hakim. Most analysts believe that this grand coalition will form the next Iraqi governmentm, which according to al-Amiri will be dedicated to solving the problems of ordinary Iraqis and will be "a government of service to the Iraqi people".
Sadr himself cannot become prime minister as he did not run in the election, though his bloc’s victory puts him in a position to have a strong say in negotiations for a new government and prime minister.
The Al-Fatih political bloc, led by Hadi al-Amiri, has the support of the popular mobilization units, known as Hashd al-Sha'bi. Al-Amiri heads an umbrella group which played a key role in defeating Daesh (or ISIS) terrorists in Iraq, and thus he is a popular politician.
The al-Nasr political bloc, also known as Victory Alliance, headed by incumbent prime minister Haider al-Abadi, took third place in the election, capturing 42 seats.
Sadr’s alliance with Al-Fatih political bloc is the beginning of a new parliament and a new government in Iraq.