“I promise you to protect Iraq’s unity and integrity.” This is what Barham Salih declared in his performance of the constitutional oath as president of the Republic of Iraq. The Iraqi political class and the international community received the news of the election of the Iraqi parliament, Barham Salih, as the President of the Republic of Iraq with great welcome. This is a promising start for a coming technocratic president based on a conciliatory approach. What distinguishes the current president of Iraq from the other political figures in Iraq is his openness and clarity of position. Barham Salih was influenced by democratic concepts and rules in Western countries taking from its experience and believed in its noble goals trying to convey these concepts to Iraq after 2003. However, the system of sectarian and ethnic quotas prevented this. In all his political stations, Barham Saleh was considered by all to be the most open and rational politician, the more liberal away from the partial quarrels, the more able to communicate with all the adversaries, beyond from the sectarian and national rivalries in his country of Iraq. More importantly, in his view, he is the most accepted and privileged in the political circles and global decision centers, the American and the European.
Despite the Iraqis’ view of the post of President of Iraq, it is largely informal because of its lack of executive powers. But observers of the Iraqi affairs say it provides plenty of space for influential political maneuvering .Therefore, the strength of the post of President of the Republic in Iraq is linked to the power of the personality that it occupies, which will be embodied by the current president, Barham Salih, when he turns the presidency of Iraq into a kitchen to resolve the political differences between the parties and overcome the crises facing the political class.
And the Iraqi political circles are waiting from Barham Saleh to restore vitality and dynamism for the post of President of the Republic. According to Iraqi observers, President Barham Salih may be asked to attend some meetings of the Iraqi cabinet, which Adel Abdul Mahdi is working on. The Iraqi Constitution allows the President of the Republic to share the government in deliberation on political and sovereign decisions, but does not grant him the right to vote. The Constitution also provides that the executive authority consists of the Government and the Presidency of the Republic. But restricts the president’s powers to some formal tasks.
However, a person like Barham Salih, with his internal and external political weight, can produce the change that the political scene in the country needs. With his old friend Adel Abdul Mahdi on the top of the cabinet, observers expect Barham Saleh to build an effective partnership with the government. This partnership will face many challenges that Iraq is going through , which are political problems, local players, popular suffering due to lack of services, lack of solutions, and basic infrastructure, which has been severely damaged in the water, electricity and health , education, roads and communications sectors ,and lack of resources, rampant corruption, political competition, the reluctance of international companies to invest, and the persistence of security threats in varying proportions, which requires difficult understandings with political partners and international and regional players and to prevent the re-emergence of “ISIS”. Iraq is besieged by regional states that see it as an arena for their influence, a market for their goods and a playground to meet with many adversaries. He and his friend Abdul Mahdi share these concerns. This effective partnership, associated with the high prudence of Barham Salih , President of the Republic of Iraq , will make Washington , Tehran , friends of Iraq noting that the Political experience and culture do not allow them to take risks in the face of the United States or to turn back to the wishes of the Islamic Republic. And they enjoy relations with all parties concerned with the Iraqi issue, at home and abroad.
The President of the Republic of Iraq, Barham Salih , is keen on the future of Iraq plagued by crises and tragedies. The president has good neighborly relations with Iran and Turkey and the Arab neighborhood and depth. He sees the need not to repeat the tragedies of the past and to be dragged into the maze of false slogans and he rejects in that Iraq to be the arena for settling the problems of others and believes that the interests of Iraq and the Kurdistan region lies in balanced relations with neighbors. Iraq, in accordance with his insight, is in need of a serious internal understanding and regional conformity to eradicate this malignant tumor represented by ISIS and its followers and sisters and this requires a radical solution to the problems of Iraq, which is moving from one crisis to another which is more dangerous.
Barham Saleh is the one who is able to maintain the balance of power inside Iraq, which is the precise thread that stands in the political process in Baghdad, through his excellent relations with Tehran and Washington, to prevent this break the balance and put Iraq in danger . He is capable of performing this role, a mediator between two forces engaged in a decisive struggle. We conclude from the foregoing that the moral and political value of those who hold the post of the president of the Republic in Iraq is the one who gives the presidency the importance and meaning, and this matter is perfectly consistent with the president of Iraq, Barham Saleh.
Iraqi Studies Unit
Rawabet Center for Research and Strategic Studies