On May 10, 2013, conflicting news reports about Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki suffering from a health problem were rampant in Baghdad, while speculation about what kind differed.
On that day, the Islamic Supreme Council was holding a memorial service on the anniversary of the martyrdom of its former leader, the late Mohammed Baqir al-Hakim. Maliki was supposed to attend the event and deliver a speech.
Hakim was a Shiite leader who stood out in 2003 as one of the most prominent leaders in the opposition to Saddam Hussein’s regime. In 2004, as he emerged from the gold-domed shrine of Imam Ali Ibn Abi Taleb in Najaf, where he was delivering a speech before his supporters, a massive car bomb exploded.
Iraqi leaders made a point of attending the memorial ceremony and delivering emotive speeches to commemorate Hakim. Maliki, however, was absent because of illness. He sent Ali al-Adib, minister of education and prominent leading member of the Dawa Party on his behalf.
At the podium during the ceremony, which was attended by Al-Monitor, Adib delivered a speech attacking the electoral law, dubbed Saint Lego, saying that “it does not achieve compatibility between blocs.”
The electoral system that was amended last year by the Iraqi parliament has helped minor blocs to achieve electoral gains. The Supreme Council, in addition, benefited from this system during the last provincial elections of April 2013.