The political behavior of Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani is characterized by composure, planning and continuity of work. In the past few years, he has carried out a large share of his projects through such behavior. For some time it was thought that Sistani had lost the political game to former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, after the latter completely took control over internal affairs and created close ties with external actors who are influential in Iraq, in such a way that was expected to grant him another four years in power.
Maliki warned Sistani to give up on his political demands, as the latter spoke of the necessity of Maliki stepping down to create political consensus among the different components of the new government. Maliki also galvanized religious guides who are opposed to Sistani and persuaded them to directly support him. This, however, did not foil the meticulous planning of Sistani, which he has been developing for a long time to protect the democratic process in Iraq.