The Iraqi political elite has failed to address the underlying issues critical to the overhaul of the political system after the occupation of Iraq in 2003 and in light of the radical Iraqi constitution approved in 2005. These issues have continued to recur through various practices and a policy known as the “recycling crisis.”
April 9 went down in history as the worst day in modern Iraq with the collapse of the country’s security structure and economy, 17 years after the fall of Baghdad to an allied-led coalition by the United States. In addition to the current critical crises, the threat of the global coronavirus pandemic against the weakness of the Iraqi health sector and the fall in oil prices that threaten the collapse of the Iraqi economy are two additional developments that have further threatened the health sector. future of political and economic stability in Iraq.
Iraqis believe that the main cause of the collapse of the country’s political system and economic structure lies in the failure of the ruling political elites, which lack political legitimacy, and the absence of the national identity that frames the nation. political behavior of all social, political and economic actors. forces across the country. The relationship between the different institutions within a political system, between the political system and society, as well as the future relationship of the state structure, determine a certain degree of continuity in the system and the balance of the different challenges facing a country is facing.
Today, the most recent developments in Iraq raise a fundamental question for countries in the Middle East crossing the intersections between two different state systems: a constitutional democracy and the Iranian theocratic model. As a result of these acute contradictions between the two systems, the trajectory of the political process comes up against a wall made up of three angry companies severely affected by the system. The Kurds feel they have been left out of Iraq’s national accounts and have been angered by insufficient funding. As for the Sunnis, they are still exhausted after years of central government repression, the burdens of the war against Daesh and the control of the Hashdi Sha’bi militia. Meanwhile, the Shiites are angry at the government’s inability to provide basic services and hand over the country’s resources to Iran.
This reality sparked a state of popular rage, which evolved into a series of massive protests that engulfed Baghdad and a number of cities across the country. Popular protests have crippled the political process since October 2019, when Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi was forced to resign from his post in an attempt to absorb the anger. After this decision, Iraq was plunged into a constitutional vacuum, with the government assuming the role of gatekeeper and parties unable to agree on the choice of a prime minister for five months in light of a local equation and regional complex.
The Iraqi political system is close to a state of “political occlusion”, which means that the political system remains closed to a limited set of components. Access to the system depends on the loyalty of the circles surrounding the main powers and decision-makers, and the future of the country remains dependent on the orientations of this group which constitutes the core of the system. In the Iraqi case, political elites are trying to consolidate their influence within the state with limited actors. Moreover, they do not believe that the political system born in 2003 has reached a state of failure which threatens the existence of Iraq as a state. On April 9, 2020, the anniversary of the invasion of Baghdad, the Shiite elite returned to approve this by agreeing to assign Mustafa al-Kazemi, who belongs to one of the ruling political families, as the new prime minister, after the approval of the Sunni and Kurdish parties.
By following the trajectory of the development of relations between the state and society in light of the ongoing political occlusion in the country, she measured the possibility of anticipating the collapse of the Iraqi political system, but in the relatively long term. For the current regime in Iraq, moving beyond the current situation will inevitably be the key to resolving regional and even global crises. In other words, the transformation of the Iraqi state must be achieved at the lowest level, not from the top to the top of the social pyramid. Therefore, social transformation without political transformation, among other factors, means that the political system has a negative effect on the social system. Thus, it seems that the probable scenario could lead to the continuation of the political system with some amendments, whether they are important – like changing basic laws or even constitutional articles – or minor, like changing laws, faces or alliances.
Finally, it is true that the political system in Iraq is at an impasse, but the greatest danger lies in the event of the elimination of the political system and its complete collapse. After all, there is no guarantee that the alternative system will be better, especially in the absence of a complete and objective view of what a positive future will look like.