The events in Basra , which resulted in the burning of the Iranian consulate and the headquarters of parties, militias and politicians in the province, called for an extraordinary session of the Iraqi parliament on Saturday with a presence of Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi to discuss the social and health crisis in the city. Ten demonstrators have been killed since Monday, government buildings and headquarters of political parties were burned down and the main port in Iraq closed. The Speaker of the House of Representatives Mohammed ( The oldest MP) Ali Zinni yesterday called on members of Parliament to attend an extraordinary session on Saturday to discuss the crisis in the province of Basra, and the Director-General of the parliamentary office in a statement said that «on the request of 54 deputies to hold a special session to discuss the status of Basra , the oldest MP , the speaker of the house of representatives called for a meeting to discuss the problems and solutions and recent developments, in the presence of Prime Minister Haider Abadi and the concerned ministers on Saturday (today) at one o’clock ».
Protestors stormed the Iranian consulate in Basra late Friday , storming occurred after the demonstrations of thousands in front of it, demanding the end of Iranian influence in the province, chanting “Iran , out , out , Basra remains free” ( Berra, Berra), according to the coordination member of Basra Ali Mansouri, who said that the demonstrators stormed the headquarters of the Dawa Party again, Two cars were burned which were parked inside it.
Al-Sadr called on the new parliament to convene immediately and in an extraordinary public session, which will be broadcast publicly through official channels to inform the public about the course of events with a presence of the Prime Minister and the Ministers of Interior, Health, Water Resources, Housing, Reconstruction, Municipalities and Electricity, the Governor of Basra, in the maximum period next Sunday to put forward radical and immediate solutions in Basra , otherwise all those who are mentioned have to leave their positions immediately , although their mandate is over , warning that it would have a shaky response if not. “In the meantime, Abadi stressed the importance of the speed of meetings of the House of Representatives and not to disable it and abide by the Constitutional time to accomplish the tasks entrusted to it ». He expressed his readiness to attend the session of the Council of Representatives with the concerned ministers and officials, to discuss the conditions and needs of Basra province and the measures taken to alleviate the suffering of its people and provide the best services to them.
The movement of Hikma «wisdom» led by Ammar al-Hakim « to support the extraordinary session». He called for the convening of an emergency session of the House of Representatives, as soon as possible, to study and decide what MPs should do in the light of the accelerating incidents and its consequences . Blocs of “Saroon” led by al-Sadr , ” al Hikma” and ” al Nasir”( led by Haider Abadi )as well as “al-Wataniya” (led by Ayad Alawi ) and” al –Qarar” (led by Usama Nujaifi), pretend that they constitute the «largest parliamentary bloc», and therefore it has enough to achieve the quorum of any parliamentary session, while al-Binaa Alliance ( construction ) did not announce , which includes blocs of Dawlat Al-Qanoon «state of law» and «Fatah» and part of the «al-Qarar », which includes the deputies of the «Arab project» led by Khamis Khanjar, any position towards the expected session. Yesterday, some of the deputies of the Alliance «al-Fatah» (led by Hadi al-Amiri) in the al-Binaa coalition «constructive» collected signatures of deputies from various blocs to dismiss Abadi. They reported in a statement that «more than 80 deputies from various blocs signed a request to dismiss the outgoing Prime Minister Haider Abadi on the back of failure to provide services».
Observers of the Iraqi issue see that Haider Abadi entered a fierce race with Iran in an attempt to direct a wave of violent protests sweeping the province of Basra to achieve each of them for his favor, amid the crisis of forming the largest bloc in a parliament that has just held for the first time. Contrary to what appears in public, Abadi knows that the more the protests escalate, the more his political interests will be strengthened. The demonstrators showed a tendency to place Iran’s interests in the province in the circle of their targeting and in the forefront the headquarters of the main popular crowd factions such as Asaib Ahl al-Haq, Hezbollah and the Badr Organization, along with other parties considered as “loyal” to Iran such as “Awfia” and others. Abadi adopts a policy of waiting and caution . They believe that the more Abadi managed to gain more time, the greater political pressure on Iran and the parties loyal to it, and weakened the position of blocs loyal to Iran that won in the legislative elections namely the “rule of law” led by former Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki.
Mr. Muqtada al-Sadr knows that a rising momentum against Iran among Iraqi Shiites may provide him with a rare political opportunity to strengthen his shares at the height of consultations to form the largest bloc in parliament, and then the government, led by the list of “Saroon” including al-Nasir list led by Abadi . . Muqtada al-Sadr’s attempts aspiring to speed up the formation of the government could lead to containment of the protests, but it remains temporary unless it is accompanied by government action at several levels. The question that arises in this context: Will political parties work to solve the problems of the province of Basra or will employ them in the framework of political bargaining after the alliance of “al-Fatah “, consisted of the political arms of the Armed “popular crowd” factions, Friday, called on Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Abadi to resign “Immediately” against the backdrop of the events in the province of Basra?
Iraqi Studies Unit
Rawabet Center for Research and Strategic Studies