04/09/2018, 11.47
IRAQ
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Christian parliamentarian: violence and corruption feed anti-system alliances

Axis between the Shiite radicals of al Sadr and communists is strengthened ahead of May 12 vote. A joint program that aims at a protest vote. Kanna: "Reaction to miserable socio-economic conditions and poor security conditions". Superseding confessional element is essential. Christians have the task of rediscovering an identity and a common struggle.

Baghdad (AsiaNews) - War, terrorism, corruption and poverty are the key factors that will determine the outcome of the upcoming elections to be held in Iraq on May 12 next. The first round of elections since the rise of the Islamic State (IS) which, at the time of its greatest expansion, had come to control almost half of the country and which was defeated - at least on the military level - only at the end of an impressive offensive .

In recent weeks, the political scenario of the Arab country has seen the union of intentions between the two main protesting and anti-system forces: the s represented by the secular leftist movement Iraqi community Party (PCI),  which has decided to ally itself with the faction led by the radical Shiite leader Moqtada Al-Sadr in the context of the election coalition renamed Sa'iroun ("Running").

Since  April 10 the two sides have been conducting a joint campaign for legislative and provincial elections, with a reformist program that intends to capture the protest vote. An alliance between scythe and turban that has not failed to raise perplexity in the country, and that has been able to strengthen over time thanks to the common struggle against corruption and a sectarian and polarizing politics.

Yonadam Kanna, leader of the Rafidain Coalition (the Assyrian Democratic Movement) underlines to AsiaNews that "the alliance between the followers of al-Sadr and the communists, is a reaction to miserable socio-economic conditions and to [poor] security conditions". The Christian parliamentarian, already a member of the Parliamentary Committee on Labor and Social Affairs, confirms that the common ground between the two movements is "the fight against corruption and the lack of good governance, which has pushed them to unite".

The Christian leader continues: "In my opinion, overcoming the confessional element in the political context of the country is a very positive element. It is important to break the halo of impunity that surrounds those who say they speak in the name of God, but behave in a wrong way and pursue evil and corruption ".

On the contrary, he adds, it is necessary to relaunch the commitment to the formation of "credible institutions, a civil state, guarantee the supremacy of law, fight corruption and guarantee prosperity to all citizens".

The key to the alliance between loyalists of the radical Shiite leader al-Sadr and the communists is the struggle among the common basis of the electorate, which lives in populous neighborhoods and is at the margins of the country's political, social and economic life.

Both the communists and the Shiite radicals see the popular or populist struggle around which they can win the most votes. A rapprochement also favored by the abandonment of the violent struggle promoted for a long time by Moqtada Al-Sadr, a former leading exponent of the struggle of the Iraqi Shiites, long repressed under the Saddam Hussein regime. Today, at the age of 44, the former populist leader has re-proposed himself as a spokesman for the struggle against sectarianism and confessionalism in national politics and for the liberation from Iran.

However, while the communists and followers of al-Sadr are united by the struggle for independence and nationalism, profound distances remain in terms of women's rights and citizenship. And in the background there is always the deep division that characterizes Iraq, that between Sunnis and Shiites, the real obstacle to overcome for a true reconciliation between the different souls that make up the nation.

The fight against discrimination and extremists, says Yonadam Kanna, is one of the priorities facing the next ruling class of the country with a full-scale battle to be wages against the laws and norms that favor radical factions, such as "the imposition of Islam on minorities ". In this regard, the struggle for the free choice of the religious belonging of a minor, whose parent has converted to the faith of Muhammad [the so-called law on the "Islamization of children"], remains topical.

"Christians - warns the parliamentarian - must rediscover an identity and a common struggle, together with Yazidis, Sabeans and Mandians".

Having reached the goal of forming a common front, he concludes, the struggle must focus on the "imposition of a rule of law, peace and security. The construction of a society capable of guaranteeing justice irrespective of religion, and of an equality of all citizens before the law", regardless of race, ethnicity or religion. (DS)

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