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Will Iraqi communists stick with Sadr’s Sairoon Alliance?

Rank-and-file members of the Iraqi Communist Party feel betrayed by Muqtada al-Sadr's Sairoon Alliance allying with the pro-Iranian Fatah Alliance to potentially form an overwhelmingly Shiite government instead of trying to dispense with sectarian politics.
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The alliance formed between the Sairoon Alliance, led by Muqtada al-Sadr, and the Fatah Alliance, led by Hadi al-Amiri, to potentially form a new Iraqi government sent shock waves through the country's civil movements, which had been relying on Sadr to break with the sectarian quotas and alliances that have dominated Iraqi politics for the past 13 years. The Iraqi Communist Party (ICP), headed by Raed Fahmi, described the alliance between Sadr and Amiri as “cross-sectarian,” but almost 97% of their blocs is Shiite. This has prompted prominent civil society activists to criticize the ICP for its position.

The ICP — which protested with Sadrists in Baghdad and other cities against corruption and sectarianism beginning in 2015 — had allied with Sadr in the May parliamentary elections on the Sairoon list. The ICP leadership considered the alliance with Sadr as a way for the country to a move beyond the sectarian nature of its recent politics, and the party secured two of the 54 seats won by the list. It is the first time that the ICP has made it into parliament with multiple seats. It won a single seat in the 2005 elections, and then failed to win seats in the 2010 and 2014 polls.

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