Iraq : Al-Sadr & Communist Party ally against Corruption, Iranian Hegemony
Nativist Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, 44, is encouraging members of his Sadr Movement to vote in the upcoming national elections for parliament. “Vote,” he said, “and save our country from corruption.”
A newly formed political party, al-Istiqama or the Upright Party, will hew the Sadrist line.
There have been reports that Sadr’s party will ally with the Iraqi Communist Party on an anti-sectarian ticket. Both Sadr and the small Communist Party have criticized the spoils system of Iraq where government positions and contracts are doled out according to membership in a sectarian political party.
Both objected vigorously to the statement of Ali Akbar Vilayeti, an adviser to Iran’s clerical Leader Ali Khamenei, on his visit to Baghdad in February that he would not allow the return of liberals, secularists and Communists in Iraq.
It was widely thought that he was criticizing Sadr for his alliance with the Communists and the “civil” or secular movement in Iraq.