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Iraqi speaker expects non-sectarian govt after polls

Iraqi speaker expects non-sectarian govt after polls
Iraq will hold parliamentary election on May 13

By Naza Mohamed

BAGHDAD (AA) – Iraqi Speaker of Parliament Salim al-Jabouri expects the formation of a non-sectarian majority government following this year’s parliamentary election.

Since the fall of Saddam Hussein’s regime after the U.S. invasion in 2003, Iraq has seen governments formed based on a quotation system with ministries distributed between Shia, Sunni blocs and political parties of the northern Kurdish region.

However, al-Jabouri predicts a change in this system following the May 13 polls.

"The general political mood is heading towards a state of political majority," the Sunni speaker told Anadolu Agency in exclusive interview on Monday.

In post-Saddam era, only Shia political parties tend to form majority blocs between each other, something al-Jabouri hopes to be changed.

“The majority blocs can succeed with other parties from different sects and ethnicities,” he said.

The ruling Shia bloc has 180 seats in the 328-member parliament.

Al-Jabouri cited that Sunni political parties have preferred to shy away from forming a main bloc, fearing that “they could be faced with other blocs with nationalist or sectarian nature”.

“This could increase polarization in the country,” he said.

"Sunni political parties also have different views, so everyone wants to run an electoral campaign on his own," he said.


Regarding the distribution of executive authorities following the election, al-Jabouri expected no change as Shias would continue to hold the post of prime minister, while the presidency would go to the Kurds and parliament speaker to the Sunnis.

However, he expressed his ambition that Sunnis would take the lead in Iraq at some point.

Sunni politicians, including al-Jabouri, are worried that the displacement of millions of Iraqis as a result of the fight against the Daesh terrorist group could affect the integrity of the election.

According to the elections commission, around 24 million people are eligible to vote in the parliamentary election.

However, with more than 2.5 million people displaced from their homes, Sunni political forces fear that they may lose a lot of seats in the government and parliament.

Al-Jabouri said the parliament has demanded the Independent High Electoral Commission open voting centers for the internally displaced people (IDPs) either in or outside their original areas.

Although “there was some response” he said “we are concerned about the integrity and transparency of the elections.”

"We know that election may not be a priority for the IDPs due to their conditions, unless we succeed in convincing them of the importance of their participation,” al-Jabouri said.

source: News Feed
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