06/13/2018, 09.26
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Baghdad: Moqtada al-Sadr set to form government alliance with pro-Iranian Hadi al-Ameri

The nationalist leader has unexpectedly announced an alliance with the blockade that led the fight against ISIS. A move that marginalizes outgoing premier al-Abadi. Al-Sadr's goal is to form an executive "far from any confessionalism". A commission charged with writing the government contract is being examined.

Baghdad (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The nationalist leader Moqtada al-Sadr, winner of the parliamentary elections on May 12, announced yesterday in a general surprise the proposal of an alliance with the pro-Iranian list led by Hadi al-Ameri.

For analysts and experts in local politics it is a real turn of events; a strange alliance between populists and a movement that has distinguished itself in the struggle against the Islamic State (IS, ex Isis) and for its loyalty to Teheran.  Moreover it obtained the highest number of votes in the last part-session.

Yesterday, the leaders of the two factions made official plans to join forces and lead the country for the next four years. Their alliance, in fact, cancels every ambition of the outgoing premier Hider al-Abadi – the third party - to form a new government.

Speaking from his stronghold in Najaf, flanked by his new ally Hadi al-Ameri.Moqtada al-Sadr gave the official announcement and pressed for the "formation of a national government far from any confessionalism".

"This is an appeal to all those who care about the interests of the nation [...]"added al-Ameri, in the context of a dinner offered by al-Sadr to celebrate the end of the daily fast. The goal is to form "a commission to discuss all the points of the alliance, in order to speed up the writing of a government program".

The union between the two sides is a significant step forward towards half of the 329 parliamentary seats, necessary for the formation of the future government, in the context of a system calibrated to prevent the return of dictatorship and the single party rule.

However, the shadow of fraud hang over the possible alliance, which has pushed the Parliament to approve a motion that requires a manual recount of ballots. Previously rumors of fraud and disputes had emerged, prompting the government to form a commission of inquiry and to postpone the official announcement of the results.

Suspicions of irregularities were further fuelled by an arson attack on the most important storage depot of ballot papers. The Ministry of the Interior assured that the votes were not destroyed, so it will still be possible to proceed with the verification of the count. Security forces arrested three people, including three policemen, over the arson attack.

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