As Iraq moves closer to the early elections of October 10, the political parties on the one hand seek to build coalitions and on the other hand explain their electoral plans and pastures to the public. Meanwhile, the expulsion of the American occupation forces is more than ever finding its place in the election agenda.
AhlulBayt News Agency (ABNA): As Iraq moves closer to the early elections of October 10, the political parties on the one hand seek to build coalitions and on the other hand explain their electoral plans and pastures to the public. Meanwhile, the expulsion of the American occupation forces is more than ever finding its place in the election agenda.
In a recent statement, representatives of various political factions in the Iraqi parliament warned the government against any attempt to circumvent the parliamentary bill to expel the US troops from the country. Representatives of the Fatah, Saerun, Sadeqoun, and other coalitions have warned in their statement against any illegal action by the government of Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi in implementing its obligation to expel the foreign troops from the country.
The statements and warnings were issued by the anti-occupation blocs while the third round of Washington-Baghdad strategic dialogue was held on April 7 with a focus on security, counterterrorism, economy, energy, politics, and culture. Following the negotiations, the Iraqi government stated that from now on, the American military presence would be advisory and for training and the foreign troops will leave Iraq within a clear timetable.
But the statement of the political factions is of significance, helping to analyze the country's current conditions at three levels.
Political parties united in push for the US withdrawal
During recent years, Washington especially invested on the tensions and divisions among the Iraqi political factions. Washington has always tried to make the most of the tense atmosphere among the Iraqi political parties to advance its interests and policies in this country. In addition to using the card of pressure on Kurds and Sunnis, the Americans have instrumentalized the so-called secular Shiite politicians for their stay.
But the recent statement by the political parties on the need not to circumvent the law on the withdrawal of US troops before the October elections indicates that, despite all political differences, they agree on opposing the continued presence of the US occupation forces. This unity is definitely against the interests and wishes of the American leaders, and in the near future can make the situation more difficult for the US to stay in Iraq.
US expulsion a priority over economic issues and political rivalry
In the four general elections that were held in the post-Saddam Iraq, economic problems, living conditions, and employment have always taken a center stage in the political parties' electoral plans. Moreover, in recent years, the political fissures began to show themselves, with their influence on the elections inevitable.
But in the new election preparations, there is a special focus on the need to implement the bill on the expulsion of foreign troops, which was approved by the Iraqi parliament on January 5, 2020 but not yet implemented by the government. Given the high popularity of anti-terror commanders, General Qassem Soleimani of Iran and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis of Iraq, and the influence of resistance groups among public, the vast majority of parties are clearly aware that focusing on expelling the American forces and dismantling their military bases in Iraq is a determining factor in the vote scoring.
Parliamentary bill legitimized fight against American occupational presence
Having in mind that the statement represents the mindset and vision of the coalitions present in the parliament as the main forces behind legislations, it can provide legitimacy to armed battle against the American military presence. Since the early days of the parliament bill, which followed by the US assassination of the game-changing figures, General Soleimani and his fellow al-Muhandis, in the fight against foreign-backed ISIS terrorism in Iraq and Syria, the resistance forces carried out attacks on the US positions across Iraq. Although the public want backing to the push for the US expulsion, al-Kadhimi’s government has so far declined to throw its weight behind the anti-occupation forces. But with the parliament restating its call for American withdrawal and warning the government not to bypass the law for providing excuses for the US stay, the upcoming waves of anti-American attacks will enjoy even more legality.