Politicians Work Towards National Consensus

By Mustafa al Kadhimi for Al Monitor. Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Iraq Business News.

After the US invasion of Iraq in 2003, the most used terms in the country are likely “political consensus,” “consensual democracy” and “consensual decision.” However, failures on all levels are often attributed to the lack of consensus, as some believe that achieving consensus in Iraq has become impossible and that division is inevitable.

One can say that the lack of consensus between different Iraqi parties and authorities has cost the country many opportunities at recovery. One can hold the political parties accountable for not believing in consensus from the beginning, and convince them of the importance of achieving — or at least seeking to reach — a consensus.

The year 2014 will be recorded as the year of historical setbacks in Iraq. It is also the year that Iraqi parties had to accept, perhaps for the first time, the concept of consensus as the standard for the upcoming phase, as a way to ensure the country’s unity and stability.

Ever since its formation, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi’s government has adopted a method of consensus to represent all Iraqis, at a time when the country needs its citizens united on one goal, namely, to free the country from terrorism.

The current calm relations between the three key leadership figures — Abadi, President Fouad Massoum and Speaker of Parliament Salim al-Jabouri (pictured) — and the ministers and deputies are an accurate reflection of the term “consensus.” This calm comes after years of standoffs between the three governmental heads, which was reflected on the political scene and the community.

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