Abadi’s Balance Draws Praise, but Governing Iraq a Tightrope Act
Iraq’s Prime Minister-designate Haider al-Abadi has not sought media attention or stirred up political, sectarian and nationalist sensitivities in speeches and statements since he was tasked with forming a government. His calm and balanced discourse has helped, to a large extent, to overcome many obstacles in the traditional formation seen in previous governments.
Preserving a balanced position when addressing the public or the political class amid such violence, crisis and bloodshed in Iraq is a difficult task, particularly if one is to appeal to the various political factions. Yet, having maintained an understated tone in speeches addressing public opinion so far, he has also been preserving this tone in his private meetings and consultations to form a government. This seems to be the result of an extraordinary effort by Abadi.
Many factors have contributed to the interruption of the Iraqi dialogue and to the country’s schism and real division between its components. Be it social, security, political, or regional and international, each element has played its role in causing the current status quo.
In addition to the general atmosphere reigning in the streets, there are further personal factors that deepened the interruption of dialogue. These factors are sometimes related to the way political leaders deal with each other, or the way members of parties and blocs respond to political tension among leaders.
At this stage, it is important that all sides adopt balanced positions, resume dialogue and political meetings, and create a positive atmosphere when dealing with the crises, its solutions and, mostly, each other. Nevertheless, it is also imperative that this atmosphere does not just prevail over the formation of the government: Calm and balanced positions should not be simply linked to the overcoming of the obstacle among parties, but to every aspect of Iraqi affairs.