Iraqi parliamentary elections, between reality, expectations and geopolitical concerns
Chapter one: a look from outside world to the inside of Iraq:
- The majority expectations of external observers on Iraqi politics are that the results of the number of elections alliance blocks will be somewhat close.
- That external players don’t know exactly, or with confident, who will be the next prime minister of Iraq, it is a sign of a healthy democratic position and a recovery to the Iraqi political system and independence.
- From the external players, there are important dossiers for the next Iraqi government to focus on that will need a strong team to manage. These files include re-establishing Baghdad's relationship with the KRG after the failure of the Kurdish Referendum; defining the limits of the movement and vitality of the Popular Mobilization and controlling its rhythm within the security and military aspects of the state; activating a reform program to reduce the financial and administrative corruption of the state apparatus; expanding the economy outside the state’s sphere of rentier economy; and finally focus on minorities to be within the protection of the state since they are citizens of the first degree, especially after the recent Daesh violations of their existence and identity.
- The sensitive geopolitical situation in the region hopes that political maneuver between Iraqi parties to form a government will be short and fast, in contrast to the expectations of Iraqi parties that believe the process of forming a government will be complicated and laborious.
- There is an outside expectation of the new elections that it will produce a change in some faces and the emergence of a new political generation of young people who have real depth within Iraq and able to think outside the box to solve Iraq's complex and multiple problems.
Chapter two: a look from inside Iraq to the outside world:
- Everyone is talking about the important role of mentorship for the political process of our eastern neighbor and the international ally and religious Marjayya of Najaf. Is the political process still in the adolescence stage of its lifecycle despite the passage of 15 years from its birth? Or did the political process grow up and become a teenager or a young man/woman and needs to stand on his/her feet?
- After a decade and a half, and with the presence and strong interaction of US and Iranian with the state and Iraqi society, we can safely say that Iraq has not yet put its relationship with both countries on affirm footing on a strategic level, will we need another decade and a half to reach a comfortable and clear firm relationship between Iraq and the United States on the one hand and Iraq and its neighboring Iran on the other? Do we, as a state and society, have a clear road map for this necessary normalization?
Chapter three: a look from inside to inside:
- Political blocks still are not comfortable about knowing accurately their nature of their electoral weight, it is an indication that it does not know the exact depth and width of its influence within society. Here, these political blocs needs to pause to understand the reasons behand this lack of knowledge. Do they have political programs which is bottom up and not vice versa? From the street prospective do you see these political blocs as similar and not offer anything distinctive? And therefore will lead to a reluctance to participate in the elections, or will they participate but will be willing to try new choices and hence break the historical convention on whom they vote for.
- There is a desire to support a platform of some kind of political majority (representing all Iraqis) and hence a formation of a governing entity on one side and another in the opposition, but at the same time there is a lack of clarity in their programs and the method of forming the next government, especially if the big political blocks want to participate heavily in forming the government. This means going back to the old way of operating and losing the chance of political recovery after Iraq ended Daesh/ISIS occupation.
- There is no clear predication in the electoral weight of the various political parties or in the nature of their internal alliances following election day, this indicates weak political dialogue between key players.
- The programs and manifesto of previous governments, during the ceremony of its formation under the House of Representatives, included more than thirty requirements and objectives, I do not think we need to go back to them, they are too many, but there is a real need for a realistic government programs and what can really be reformed in the next four years.
- There is a real problem related to the large number of Iraqi parties participating in the parliamentary elections since some parties are a one-person party. In addition, some of the key political leaders did not nominate themselves to the House of Representatives so that they remained outside the parliamentary arena, meaning an increase in the number of political leaders, noting that we need to reduce them in order to activate a healthy democratic culture.
- All thanks and gratitude to Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani and the rest of the Marjayya for not to immersing themselves in the internal political infighting during this election carnival. Politicians need to leave the religious establishment out of the infighting so that parties can focus on improving their electoral programs and manifestos, Hence I am so grateful to His Excellency who himself live in a rented house.