Tuesday, August 14, 2018 | 6:32 PM


Iraq's Sairoon, Fatah political parties announce alliance

Wednesday, June 13, 2018
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Iraqi cleric Moqtada al-Sadr and head of the country’s Badr Organization Hadi al-Amiri have announced a political alliance between their parties in a bid to form government after last month's elections resulted in a hung parliament.

The announcement was made on Tuesday during a joint press conferences held in the Iraqi city of Najaf, during which Sadr hailed the formation of "a true alliance to accelerate the formation of a national government away from any dogmatism".

The move by Sadr is the first serious step towards forming a new government after weeks of negotiations between parties.

"Our meeting was a very positive one, we met to end the suffering of this nation and of the people. Our new alliance is a nationalist one," Sadr said.

Sadr's Sairoon bloc won 54 out of 329 seats in the Iraqi parliament. The Fatah (Conquest) alliance, led by Badr Organization Secretary General Hadi al-Ameri, and Abadi's Nasr (Victory) coalition finished second and third with 47 and 42 seats, respectively.

"Fatah and Sairoon announce forming the nucleus of the largest bloc and call on all winning blocs to participate in this alliance under a government programme agreed upon by all that is suitable to face the challenges, crises, and problems facing Iraq," a Fatah spokesman said in a statement.

The alliance, which together has 101 seats, 64 short of the majority needed to form a government, came hours after Prime Minister Abadi urged politicians to keep negotiating over government formation despite an impending nationwide manual recount of votes.

Meanwhile, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi says that he is opposed any rerun of the May 12 parliamentary election, and warned that those who try to disrupt the political process would be punished.

“The matter is exclusively in the hands of the judiciary, not politicians. The government and parliament don’t have the power to cancel the election,” he said.

On Sunday, the storage site housing ballot boxes from Iraq’s May parliamentary elections caught fire ahead of a recount.

On Monday, Iraqi state television announced that three of the suspects are members of the country's police force while the other is a employee of the Independent High Elections Commission.

On Wednesday, the Iraqi parliament has voted in favor of a manual recount of votes in the country's May 12 parliamentary elections.  

The announcement came a few days after Abadi ordered the creation of a high-powered commission to look into the alleged irregularities in the parliamentary elections.

An official statement said a recent cabinet meeting chaired by the premier had named the Iraqi anti-graft chief as the head of the commission.

The statement further suggested that hackers may have manipulated the election results.

At the time, Sadr rejected calls for an election rerun, warning Iraqis about breaking out of a possible “civil war.” 

"Stop fighting for seats, posts, gains, influence, power, and rulership,” the 44-year-old cleric addressed the entire Iraqi nation in a statement published by his office on Monday, adding, “Is it now time to stand as one for building and reconstruction instead of burning ballot boxes or repeating elections just for one seat or two?”