Muqtada al-Sadr's Sairoon bloc has reached an understanding with a handful of political parties regarding the formation of a majority bloc in parliament which would then be tasked with drawing up a new government, a Sairoon spokesman said yesterday.
"The alliance has come to an understanding on the formation of a majority bloc in parliament and has taken significant steps towards the drafting of a government program," Sairoon spokesman Qahtan al-Jubouri said in a statement. Consultations, he said, were still underway between various parties and political blocs, he did not say which ones, with a view to advancing formation of the country's next government.
According to al-Jubouri, the latest developments follow calls by prominent Shiite cleric Ali al-Sistani for the "swift formation" of a new government once results of Iraq's disputed May 12 parliamentary polls are recounted. Electoral officials have yet to finish recounting ballots in a handful of provinces, including Diyala and Baghdad. It remains unclear, however, whether the vote recount will dramatically affect initial poll results. For the last two months, results of Iraq's hard-fought May 12 parliamentary election have remained the subject of bitter dispute amid widespread allegations of vote fraud.