Nobody On Team al-Abadi: Iraqi PM Under Attack, Can’t Please Anyone, So How Can He Save the Country?
Nobody in Iraqi politics appears to like Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi much anymore. Some dislike him for his proposed reforms, others for not reforming enough. It’s a no-win scenario. How long can he last?
Iraq’s Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi is in trouble – and with almost everyone. Sources from inside Iraq’s government say that over the past few weeks politicians from Shiite Muslim parties, one of which is al-Abadi’s own, and Sunni Muslim parties, traditionally opposed to the Shiite ones, have held private meetings to discuss whether al-Abadi can be removed from his post.
The same sources suggest Iraqi Kurdish politicians were also involved and that al-Abadi was sent a warning.
The problem is, is that the beleaguered Prime Minister, who came to power with a clever balancing act in August 2014, is under siege from all sides, with all of his critics dissatisfied with him, and for different, opposing reasons. In fact, the only thing all his opponents have in common is that they’re critical of al-Abadi.
Much of the most vocal criticism is actually coming from al-Abadi’s own political bloc, the State of Law coalition, and within that coalition, his own political party, the Dawa party. There is a split within the Shiite Muslim-dominated State of Law coalition and it appears to be deepening, with local analysts saying that it’s likely to manifest most strongly during 2017’s planned provincial elections.
Many of the MPs from within the coalition support Iraq’s former Prime Minister, Nouri al-Maliki, who was ousted against his will and who has continued to try to undermine al-Abadi.
The other side of the divide within the State of Law consists of the MPs who back al-Abadi – they are far fewer in number and tend to be other members of the Dawa party, most of whom were also political exiles in London, alongside al-Abadi.
The latter group supports al-Abadi’s proposed reforms to combat corruption and the idea of creating a National Guard for Iraq, which would annex both the Shiite Muslim volunteer militias and Sunni muslim tribal fighters.