Shafaq News/ A political source familiar with the circumstances of the meeting that took place earlier today, Wednesday, between the leader of the Sadrist movement, Muqtada al-Sadr, and leading figures from the Coordination Framework, revealed that the former refused the demands of the latter on the process of choosing the line up of the next federal government.
The source who preferred to remain anonymous told Shafaq News Agency that the leaders of the Shiite forces consortium suggested that the next government shall be inclusive to all the parties represented in the parliament; a demand categorically refused by the maverick Shiite leader.
"Our solitary decision is that the government shall be formed according to political majority," the source quoted al-Sadr, "the parties that will not participate in the government shall form a real opposition.
"If those forces were capable of forming a government, we are going to be the opposition and will continue working from the parliament according to the law," al-Sadr said according to the source.
Al-Sadr said that the success of the next government is contingent upon the presence of an active opposition inside the parliament's hall.
The firebrand Shiite cleric was adamant that no external parties or embassies shall play in role in choosing the Prime Minister and cabinet line up.
On the other side, a source from inside the Coordination Framework ascribed the meeting with al-Sadr as "positive, responsible, and prioritizes the state's interest and the success of the next stage."
"The guarantees of this success will be contemplated in the near future," the source said without disclosing further details.
Another source revealed that the delegation of "the Coordination Framework delivered two key messages to al-Sadr. The first is that renewing the mandates of the three heads of the state is prohibited, and the second is that Nouri Al-Maliki's participation in the next government is a must."
Al- Maliki, the head of the State of Law Coalition, has been al-Sadr's biggest rival since 2006. The latter holds al-Maliki liable for the steep deterioration that the country witnessed in his two consecutive mandates between 2006 and 2014, including ISIS invasion to Iraq's north and west.
Since the U.S.-led invasion that toppled minority Sunni dictator Saddam Hussein, Iraqi governments have been dominated by parties from the Shiite majority, in coalitions that have included Kurdish parties.
al-Sadr has said he will ally himself with whoever puts Iraq's national interests first. That is an indication, Iraqi officials and Western diplomats say, that he may exclude some Iran-backed Shiite groups in favor of parties with cross-sectarian support.
The elections were held earlier than scheduled in response to huge street demonstrations two years ago against corruption and foreign influence, put down violently by security forces backed by pro-Iran armed groups.
The Sadrist bloc, a political group led by populist Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, emerged as the clear winner with 73 seats in the 329-seat parliament. Al-Takaddom party, one of two main Sunni political groups and led by the speaker of the outgoing parliament Mohammed al-Halboosi, followed with 37 seats. Former prime minister Nouri al-Maliki's State of Law bloc came third with 33 seats.
The Iran-backed al-Fatah Alliance, won only 17 seats, compared with 45 in 2018.
The Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) won 31 seats, while Kurdistan Alliance led by the rival the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) party won only 17 seats.