Iraq’s National Wisdom Movement led by Ammar al-Hakim officially became a member of the political opposition in an effort to assess government performance.
The Movement, with 17 deputies in parliament, said in a statement that its political bureau held a meeting to discuss the country's current situation in general and the level of service and concerns of the Iraqi people in particular.
The statement announced the National Wisdom Movement’s adoption of the political, constitutional, national, and constructive opposition and its full commitment to its requirements and performance at the national level.
On Monday, the Movement sent a formal notice to the Iraqi Speaker asking to legally consider the parliamentary bloc as an opposition bloc.
Nasr Coalition, led by the former Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi welcomed the Wisdom Movement’s choice, adding that the Coalition adopted the opposition of the government three days prior to the Movement’s announcement. It noted that the opposition needs a broad, responsible, and effective political front.
The Coalition stressed that it does not aim to overthrow the government just for political competition, rather wants to build a successful state.
The Coalition did not explicitly announce in its statement joining the opposing National Wisdom Movement, however, Coalition member Khalil Mohammed Said revealed that parties may be leaning towards forming a parliamentary opposition of at least six blocs.
With that, observers believe “migration season of political blocs to the opposition has begun, as a result of their desire to jump off the government’s ship” after the various crises in the country.
For his part, head of Iraqi Center for Political Thought Ihsan al-Shammari said that the recent statement of Religious Reference in Najaf, which strongly criticized the political blocs, led to the Wisdom Movement’s decision, and to a certain extent Nasr Coalition’s. He explained that they wanted to distance themselves from the government because it was associated with failures.
Shammari told Asharq Al-Awsat that the political opposition adopted by Wisdom Movement and Nasr Coalition was compatible with the democratic parliamentary system in Iraq, and made a new area for political action.
For his part, member of Wisdom Movement Mohammed Housam al-Hosseini confirmed that the adoption of the political opposition approach did not mean leaving the administrative posts in the Iraqi state.
“We are supporters of the state and opponents of the government,” Hosseini stressed, adding that the eight forces of the Reform Coalition welcomed and supported the idea. He explained that the Movement was waiting for the situation to crystallize before submitting formal requests to join the opposition.
It is noteworthy that broad Iraqi popular sectors accuse the political forces of often fighting over official and key positions in the government and Iraqi state, while publicly criticizing the government and blaming it alone for failure.