The Sadrist movement and its leaders were not on friendly terms with al-Maliki and his allies by the end of the former Prime Minister’s last term; they blamed a lot of what is now wrong with the country on his behaviour and his tactics. They are opposed to letting al-Maliki hold any significant position in Iraqi politics again.
“What this call for change is about, is bringing back power to certain people who abandoned any democratic or political process, and who damaged the country,” added Hussein al-Aboudi, spokesperson for the Sadrists. “All of the problems we have today were caused by these people. Any presidential system will bring back dictatorship and give power to people who are not acceptable to any Iraqis, neither political blocs nor the ordinary people.”
Iraq isn't ready for a presidential system because it has not completely become democratic, al-Aboudi concluded.
There are also other parties within the broader Shiite Muslim alliance in Iraqi politics who are opposed to the suggestion about changing to a presidential system.
The Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq, or ISCI, is also opposed to the idea; they were another of the members of the greater Shiite Muslim alliance that didn't want al-Maliki to get a third term.
“Transforming the system from a parliamentary one to a presidential one will only give power to one person,” says Layla al-Khafaji, a senior member of the ISCI. “It will root dictatorship deeply in this country. The days when you could simply change laws and regulations arbitrarily, without due process and simply by stating it was so, are over – they went out with the last dictatorship.”