Iraqi politics are deadlocked. Several political parties and blocs boycotted the Council of Representatives (CoR) following the Sadrist protesters’ first breach of the Green Zone on April 30. The Kurdish Alliance, a bloc that consisted of nearly one-fifth of the CoR, withdrew on May 5. The bloc has now split, and two of its component political parties, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) and Gorran, formally reunited on May 14 to create a new bloc.
ISIS carried out explosive attacks in Baghdad and its environs to undermine an increasingly fragile Iraqi government through April and early May. The group exploited a security system both distracted by ongoing political upheaval caused by a stalled reform and burdened with protecting thousands of Shi’a pilgrims travelling to northern Baghdad for a major Shi’a holiday.
Iraq’s political crisis has degenerated further as a majority of Iraqi parties, including the Kurdish parties and the Sunni Etihad bloc, have boycotted parliament sessions following the April 30 breach of the Green Zone by Sadrist demonstrators.
May 9 Update: Multiple political parties announced that they would boycott any upcoming session of the Council of Representatives (CoR). The Sunni Etihad bloc announced on May 9 that it would not attend any parliamentary session until those responsible for the April 30 protests were held accountable.
This graphic is an approximate depiction of the current state of the Council of Representatives. It shows the number and party affiliation of CoR members who have boycotted future parliamentary sessions. It also shows the number and party affiliation of CoR members whom ISW assesses may be part of the Reform Front.
The U.S. announced additional “accelerants” in the fight against ISIS, reporting on April 18 that it would deploy 217 additional train-and-advise personnel to embed at the brigade and battalion levels with attack helicopters and an additional High-Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS).
Iraq's political crisis is cresting to a point where the collapse of the government is a distinct possibility. Thi document examines and excerpts the relevant sections of the Iraqi Constitution related to the powers to dismiss and/or dissolve the various bodies and positions in the Iraqi government.
ISW's timeline presents the major meetings and events leading to Iraq's current political crisis. Spanning 7 weeks, this timeline details nearly 70 individual meetings related to the political crisis precipitated by Prime Minister Abadi’s announcement of an impending Cabinet shuffle. The meetings demonstrate the level of negotiations between international and regional actors and Iraq’s major political blocs to find a solution to Iraq’s ongoing political crisis.
The rump Council of Representatives (CoR) barricaded itself in the Parliament building after an overnight sit in on April 13 to 14. The parliamentary remnant illegally convened a session, voted amongst itself to dismiss CoR Speaker Salim al-Juburi, and elected a new provisional speaker.
Political blocs continue to jockey for influence over the final composition of the Council of Ministers (CoM) amid increased threats to Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi’s position.