Iraqi Elections 2018: Scenarios of Happy or Sad Endings
By Assistant Prof Dr Ahmed Rushdi Abdullah
We all know that Saturday the 12th of may will be an important event in the history of Iraq after 2003, it is without any doubt the beginning of this injured country on its way to reach either safety or to righteousness of infatuation.
This huge difference in the end of Iraq’s road comes originally from a deep disagreement in the visions of Iraqi, regionally and even internationally minds about the future of Iraq after the elections. In fact, most of those visions are based on the scenarios of predicting the results of the elections and the rest depends on special ones to address the consequences of the results of elections. According to my belief they are three:
The war scenario: It depends mainly on the conflict between Iran and the United States on the Iraqi territory on one hand and the conflict between Iran and Israel and its allies on the other, which will precede the Iraqi elections and even shortly thereafter. It’s based on The Al-Fatah Bloc (the official political arm of the PMF: Popular Mobilizing Forces-a paramilitary group that most of its individuals loyal to Iran) will obtain a number of seats qualified it to be the first in the Shiite parliamentary bloc to get the post of prime minister or to get this position with a group of ministries through its alliance with Mr. Maliki and perhaps Hakim and Sadr with a number of Sunnis and Kurds.
Some say that Al-Fatah Bloc will take over the whole government by force because the status of Iraq is very similar to the situation of Czechoslovakia in November 1948 when the Soviet Union made a coup in the structure of the Czechoslovak government and made it totally communist through six days of militia violence and controlling all state institutes which finally led to the surrender of President Beinisch and his agreement to the formation of a fully communist government which continued leading the country until 1989. The reasons for the Soviet coup were Czechoslovakia has wide borders with Germany and Austria and the US Marshall Plan for the reconstruction of Europe will include Czechoslovakia which the same as Iraq now as America wants to return to Iraq through unlimited financial and military support and Iraq has a wide range borders with Saudi Arabia (the arch enemy to Iran) and Turkey (the unguaranteed ally to the Islamic Republic). This is apart from Israel’s constant threat to Iran to strike Iran’s nuclear reactors by exploiting the Western presence in Iraq. The question now is whether the United States and its allies will stand by and watch the situation in Iraq or what?
The peace scenario: which is Mr. Abadi can get the highest number of seats within the Shiite parliamentary structure and allied with Sadr and Hakim, Sunnis and Kurds, which will push both Al-Fatah and Maliki’s bloc and perhaps with some Kurds to be an opposition inside the parliament or satisfied them with the one or two ministries. This scenario actually is the most desired one by Saudi Arabia , Gulf states and perhaps Turkey and Israel and of course the American support will be greater for Iraq in this case which means Iraq will get rid of its financial and security crisis . This scenario will be acceptable to Iran if There is a beginning of a truce between Trump administration and the Iranian regime through a French role which already begin growing significantly in the hot spots of the Middle East like Libya, Syria and Iraq. The most important question is what if Mr Abadi gains it then Trump decided to punish Iran may be by allowing an Israeli air strike then how the Iranian will react on the Iraqi soil?
Emergency scenario: This scenario related to a major security breach such as a chemical strike done by ISIS, for example, in one of the liberated governorates before or at the day of elections, which leads the current prime minister to declare a state of emergency and thus may lead to indefinite postponement of the elections. Or maybe this major terrorist attack will happen after the first of July which is the day of dissolution of the current parliament and the government will be a caretaker one, which makes the Prime Minister declare a state of emergency and thus disable the possibility of forming the government in a short period, making things open to all possibilities. At the same time, this scenario is opened to an opposite end that the PMF forces will control the government institutes because of the emergency state and declare a temporary government.
All of those scenarios are subjected to an extensive study now and they are opened to both ends which either makes Iraq go forward stability and security and start a new phase of reconstruction and development or to sink more and more in the quagmire of crises.
By Assistant Prof Dr Ahmed Rushdi Abdullah
Foreign Policy Advisor
The Speaker Office
The Iraqi Parliament
HOUSE OF IRAQI EXPERTISE FOUNDATION