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Is Abadi looking to return as PM?
16th June 2019
16th June 2019 in Politics
16th June 2019
16th June 2019 in Politics
By Adnan Abu Zeed for Al Monitor. Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.
Is Abadi looking to return to prime minister’s post?
Former Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced May 31 his resignation from all his positions in the Islamic Dawa Party, whose politburo he headed. His move raised questions about his potential plans to return to the prime minister’s post.
[size=50]Is Abadi looking to return to prime minister's post?
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Adnan Abu Zeed June 13, 2019
Read more: https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2019/06/iraq-premiership-dawa-party-abadi.html#ixzz5r0iQ8TI6
Adnan Abu Zeed June 13, 2019
Former Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced May 31 his resignation from all his positions in the Islamic Dawa Party, whose politburo he headed. His move raised questions about his potential plans to return to the prime minister's post.
Abadi also met with Iran's ambassador to Baghdad on June 11; the former prime minister discussed the bilateral relationship between the two countries and also expressed his support for Iran against the sanctions imposed by the United States. The meeting, which was the first of its kind since his departure as prime minister, was read as an attempt to improve his relationship with Iran, which has a big influence in Iraqi politics.
Abadi also met with the new-appointed US ambassador, Matthew Tueller in Jun. 13. They discussed the overall political situation in Iraq and the region.
Abadi's political career began in and developed through Dawa. The party was formed in 1957, and it monopolized the prime minister's post from 2005 until 2018, when Abadi stepped down in favor of independent political candidate Adel Abdul Mahdi, who was the consensus choice of the two largest parliamentary blocs. These two blocs are Al-Islah, which includes the Abadi-led Victory Alliance and the Sairoon Alliance led by Muqtada al-Sadr, and the Construction Bloc led by Hadi al-Amiri, which includes political wings from the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMU) and factions that are strongly tied to Iran.
Abadi’s withdrawal from the party heralded his possible return to the prime minister's post, according to June 7 statements from sources who said Al-Islah was attempting to bring Abadi back as prime minister.
Ghaleb al-Shahbandar, a former leader in the Dawa Party and a political activist, told Al-Monitor, “Some understandings constitute undeclared agreements between Abadi and Sadr, who supported Abdul Mahdi's reaching the premiership. These involve putting Abadi in the premiership once again, provided he fulfills Sadr’s request to leave his positions in the Dawa Party.”
Shahbandar’s words seem to have some basis; the Victory Alliance and Al-Hikma National Movement led by Ammar al-Hakim said June 7 that they are switching sides to the opposition. This could mean that Abdul Mahdi would lack the votes to resolve major disputed issues.
Abadi’s withdrawal from the Dawa Party in exchange for an agreement that might pave the way for a second term in Iraq does not come as a surprise. On Sept. 11, 2018, a source reported that Abadi and Sadr had agreed that Abadi would leave the Dawa Party and remain independent in exchange for Sadr’s support for his second term.
Islamist thinker Ali al-Moumen, a former member of the Dawa Party, told Al-Monitor, “Abadi’s withdrawal from his positions is a prelude to his complete departure from the party to cement the independence of his political stances from those of the party.”
Moumen said, “Abadi is working on turning the Victory Alliance into a liberal political party. Leaving the party in return for running for the premiership has always been the condition of his allies Sadr and Hakim.”
Moumen ruled out the possibility that the prime minister's post would turn “into a point of contention in the foreseeable future, because Mahdi still enjoys the support of most political blocs, despite differences over some of his policies. Even if some parties intend to topple his government, the alternative will not be Abadi.”
Abadi formed the Victory Alliance on Jan. 15, 2018, and he called on other political entities to join him. The Victory Alliance has 30 members of parliament.
Victory Alliance member Ali al-Suneid told Al-Monitor, “Talk about Abadi’s return to the premiership is premature, despite it being a possibility. Analyses and conclusions reflect the opinions of their beholders. Abadi and the Victory Alliance have thus far supported the government.”
However, Abadi announced May 5 his readiness to reassume the premiership if Abdul Mahdi’s government does not last, and he underlined what he called his successful experience in leading the country.
Abadi seems to have a good shot at the premiership because of the Sairoon Alliance’s irritation with Abdul Mahdi. Sabah al-Saeidi, a leader in the alliance, warned Abdul Mahdi on Dec. 5, saying, “The countdown for his government will begin if he continues to obey others’ whims." This was a reference to the PMU and the Construction bloc.
Waseq al-Jabiri, a political analyst and Media Development Center adviser, told Al-Monitor, “Through his withdrawal from the Dawa Party positions, Abadi aims at distancing himself from disputes in the party and to be prime minister once again. He is now busy with political and social activities for that purpose.”
Sadr said April 25 that the six months given to Abdul Mahdi have passed and threatened public protests, saying, “You know very well that you had six months to one year to prove your success.”
Sadr has reservations about the PMU’s political role, and Abadi accused PMU leaders May 25 of gathering fortunes at the expense of public funds. He wondered about the source of the leaders’ properties and expressed dissatisfaction with the performance of Abdul Mahdi’s government. Abadi said, “The corrupt elements decided against my victory for a second term because they were worried about their interests.”
While Abdul Mahdi’s government does not normally respond to the news and related speculation, reports that the prime minister might resign proved the exception. A source close to Abdul Mahdi said June 6 that the prime minister has no intention of stepping down. But the truth of the matter is that Abdul Mahdi does not belong to any strong political bloc supporting him. Therefore, he remains at the mercy of the blocs that nominated him; this may be a key weakness of his government and could even lead to his dismissal from the premiership.
Found in:IRAQI ELECTIONS
Adnan Abu Zeed is an Iraqi author and journalist. He holds a degree in engineering technology from Iraq and a degree in media techniques from the Netherlands.
Former Iraqi prime minister Haider al-Abadi has resigned from the Islamic Dawa Party, raising questions about h
Is Iraq’s former PM Abadi making a comeback?
Iraq's former Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi talks during an election campaign rally in the holy city of Najaf on May 3, 2018. File photo: AFP
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Shiite leaders have turned up the heat on Iraq’s Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi to deliver on his promises. One man who stands to gain from this is Haider al-Abadi, Iraq’s former PM.
Abdul-Mahdi’s task was never a simple one, inheriting a country wracked by war, political division, mass displacement, crumbling infrastructure, and rampant corruption.
Now, just seven months into the job, the PM is fighting for his career as powerful Shiite figures question his progress.
Ali al-Sistani, the highest Shiite religious authority in Iraq, voiced his dissatisfaction with the government’s achievements in his Friday sermon.
Moreover, one of the kingmakers of Iraq’s politics, the firebrand Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, warned the PM he has just 10 days to fill the remaining vacant posts in his cabinet, else he could be removed.
Abdul-Mahdi is yet to appoint ministers to head the Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Interior, and Ministry of Justice due to competition and disputes between the political parties.
Sadr’s Sayirun alliance, the biggest bloc in the Iraqi parliament, may soon force Abdul-Mahdi to appear before MPs to account for his government’s shortcomings.
One bloc in particular, Abadi’s Nasr (Victory) Alliance, appears to be capitalizing on Abdul-Mahdi’s woes.
Appointed after Nuri al-Maliki stepped down in 2014, Abadi labored through four turbulent years in office, presiding over the war with the Islamic State (ISIS).
Continuing the policy of his predecessor, Abadi deprived the Kurdistan Region of its budget share in a dispute over independent oil sales.
After the Kurdistan independence referendum of September 2017, Abadi imposed an embargo on the Region’s airports and deployed federal troops to seize Kirkuk and other disputed territories from the Peshmerga.
His ruthless approach caused Erbil-Baghdad relations to sink to their lowest ebb in years.
Abadi broke away from Maliki’s State of Law Coalition to run in Iraq’s May 2018 parliamentary election as head of the Nasr (Victory) Alliance – designed to capitalize on the defeat of ISIS.
As a result, Abadi and Maliki split the Dawa Party vote, causing it to lose power for the first time in 15 years.
Nasr came in third place, followed by State of Law in fourth.
Abadi was removed from office in part because of his poor public approval ratings following a brutal state crackdown on anti-government protests in Basra and other southern provinces that summer.
He had also lost the support of Iran-backed militia chiefs, who saw him as America’s preferred candidate.
Abadi has remained active in the Iraqi parliament ever since – becoming a thorn in Abdul-Mahdi’s side.
According to a Kurdish MP in the Iraqi parliament, Nasr MPs are leading the effort inside parliament to stop Abdul-Mahdi sending public sector salaries to the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).
“The MPs of the Nasr faction are working on this and have turned it into a weapon against Adil Abdul-Mahdi,” Bakhtyar Shaways, a Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) MP in the Iraqi parliament, told Rudaw.
Baghdad agreed to resume the salary payments in the 2019 budget bill, despite the KRG’s failure to uphold its end of the bargain to send oil to be sold through Iraq’s state oil marketing agency SOMO.
One of the clauses of the bill stipulates the KRG must hand over 250,000 barrels of oil per day in exchange for its budget share.
Abadi is upset with the Iraqi PM for sending salaries without Iraq receiving the oil in return, Shaways said.
“That is why, in every session of the parliament, Abadi’s MPs raise the agreement between the Kurdistan Region and Baghdad and ask where the 250,000 barrels of oil that are supposed to be sent are,” he added.
Dana Jaza, a Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) MP in the Iraqi parliament, told Rudaw the issue is likely to come to a head once the new Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) is established in Erbil.
“There are attempts on the part of some blocs to destroy [Abdul-Mahdi’s] government,” Jaza claimed.
Abdul-Mahdi is planning to visit the Region at the end of the week, sources told Rudaw.
“This issue has to be resolved because there are many attacks against Adil Abdul-Mahdi, and he has asked for help,” Shaways said.
Abadi’s return to frontline politics is likely to be fraught with challenges. He made many enemies during his time in office, particularly among the Kurds.
Kurdish parties hold 57 seats in the Iraqi parliament and play a prominent role in the federal government. As a result, they have a de-facto veto over who gets to become PM and who doesn’t.
After the May 2018 election, Kurds refused to back Abadi for a second term. It is likely they would do the same again if Abdul-Mahdi is toppled.
@Jayzze wrote:of course he is why do you think he left the dawa party
I'll come back to that, Abadi is respect internationally, maybe he does not like the Kurds, but he kept his position in front of them, and he acted like a prime minister of a country , and he clean the country of the Islamic state and Moussol, so they are well placed to continue what he started in his first term !! for leaving the party dawa it is a request of Sadar to support him for a second mandate !!
clause if you remember2 yrs ago at davos with all the pm pres and the worlds heavy hitters in attendance, abadi went there for the sole purpose of getting aid and loan for iraq. he not only left empty handed but was seen as a joke. at that time all he had to do was agree to raise the value of the dinar and he did not. this was followed by the eco summit at kuaitt the same result as in davos. unless there is a major change in the Iraqi gov and gets rid of the iranian control thru m there will not be much different results sadly. presently they are trying to change the auctions which is the cash cow of the stealing of money. if they succeed then there is hope for a change
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