Preferential Nominations Brings Dooms Day For Iraqi Democracy Under Sadr Leadership
Iraq–Iraq’s political future seems to be decided over personal preferences and not leadership. Right now, the leader of the Sadrist movement Moqtada al-Sadr has nominated Riber Ahmed, the Kurdistan region’s interior minister, for the position of president of the republic and Mohammad Jaafar al-Sadr, one of his cousins to be the next prime minister.
Populist leader Moqtada al-Sadr has finally not kept his promise and used his own personal preferences to fill in political positions in the newly forming government. Instead, Iraq seems to be moving away from a system of political quotas to one based on the accommodation of various players, if not indeed, plain nepotism. He has also chosen the director of the office of party leader Massoud Barzani, for the position of president of the republic. Apparently, Sadr seems to be motivated by a desire to free himself from the yoke of the pro-Iranian Shia Coordination Framework. He thus seems to have fallen under the control of Massoud Barzani and accepted his conditions.
A part of the conditions put forward includes endorsing the latter’s nominee for the presidency of Iraq, despite the fact that the candidate is virtually unknown to most Iraqis. Moreover, Ahmed will have a hard time filling the shoes of a figure of the stature, connections and overall record of the incumbent Barham Salih.
Ahmed has no experience to hold such an important position. This will be detrimental to Iraq’s future. Sadr had once stood out to change things around, but his selection of relatives and preferences shows that his opposition to quotas, nepotism and his advocacy of the “national majority” are all hollow talks with nothing concrete to prove his worth.
The Iraqi parliament is expected to hold a session to elect a new president. The decision has been postponed repeatedly as a result of Barzani’s bid to ensure the selection of his own candidate. This comes despite the failure of his first choice, Hoshyar Zebari, over charges of corruption and nepotism stemming from his time as finance minister in 2016.