BAGHDAD (AA) – The parliamentary bloc led by Sunni leader Osama al-Nujaifi will not participate in Iraq’s incoming government but will rather join the opposition, according to a statement released by the bloc.
Prime Minister-designate Adil Abdul-Mahdi was tasked with forming a new government in early October, but since then the process has been dogged by delays.
Explaining its decision in a Wednesday statement, al-Nujaifi’s Qarar Coalition described Sunni representation in the incoming government as “insufficient”.
“Only six cabinet portfolios were distributed among Sunni groups linked to the Al-Bina Coalition,” the bloc asserted.
“Apart from these, no other Sunni coalition or group will enjoy representation in the incoming government,” it added.
As it currently stands, Sunni representation in Iraq’s parliament is divided into two main blocs: The Construction and Reform Coalition (which includes Muqtada al-Sadr, Haider al-Abadi and Ammar al-Hakim) and the Bina Coalition (led by Hadi al-Ameri).
Al-Nujaifi and his allies in parliament are affiliated with the former.
In a statement released on social media, Muqtada al-Sadr (whose Sairoon coalition came in first in May 12 parliamentary polls) voiced his rejection of “factionalism based on sectarianism and racism; corruption and corrupt people; and foreign pressure”.
He went on to assert that Iraq’s next government should be composed mainly of “technocrats and political independents”.
“Otherwise,” he warned, “the people will reject it.”
According to recent reports, the PM-designate will not include any Turkmen in his cabinet lineup, although it is rumored that a Turkmen might be given a vice-presidential post.
Some sources close to the PM-designate say the finance portfolio will go to the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), while the justice portfolio will be given to the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK).
The migration portfolio, meanwhile, is expected to go to Viyan Dakhil, a female Yazidi lawmaker formerly affiliated with the KDP.
The Kurdish Gorran Movement, the same sources said, would likely be given a single cabinet portfolio, although which one remains unclear.