Tasmeem Alliance leader
Amer Al-Fayez reveals insider account of battle to elect Basra governor
NEWSROOM — The recent re-election of Asaad Al-Eidani as Governor of Basra has shed light on the intricate political negotiations and alliances within Iraq’s political landscape, as detailed in an interview with Amer Al-Fayez, leader of the Tasmim Alliance. The discussions, revealing the behind-the-scenes maneuvering that secured Al-Eidani’s position, underscore the complexities of local and national politics in Iraq.
Amer Al-Fayez disclosed the collaborative efforts that led to the agreement, which not only renewed Al-Eidani’s term but also delineated the distribution of deputy governor positions among key political factions. “In Basra, Hassan Shaddad from The National State Forces Alliance attended the session with us, but he later withdrew and we remained 17 members and part of the Coordination Framework forces was agreed with,” Al-Fayez said, highlighting the tense negotiations that preceded the provincial council’s decision.
The interview with Al-Fayez provided an insider’s view of the political dynamics at play, including the involvement of Prime Minister Mohammed Al-Sudani in discussions that ultimately involved agreements with influential figures such as Ammar Al-Hakim and Nouri Al-Maliki. The allocation of the Deputy Governor position to the State of Law Coalition was a key outcome of these negotiations.
Al-Fayez emphasized the strategic considerations behind the support for Al-Eidani, indicating a broader strategy within the Coordination Framework to leverage successful governors for the coalition’s benefit. “I personally made great efforts for Al-Eidani and also for Nasif Al-Khatibi [governor of Karbala], when I broached the issue of governors within the Framework meeting, and I was the only opposition to replacing the winners,” Al-Fayez remarked.
Despite challenges, including the absence of most of the Framework’s members during the critical Monday session due to disagreements over other governorates, Al-Fayez underscored the eventual consensus that facilitated the re-election. “We could have formed the entire local government in Basra and also in Karbala, but we waited, negotiated, and postponed the session more than once to reach an agreement with the Framework,” he explained, illustrating the delicate balance of patience and persistence in political negotiations.
The re-election of Al-Eidani, a figure associated with the Iraqi National Congress and the head of the Tasmim Alliance since 2017, comes amid a backdrop of political tension and the Shia Coordination Framework’s initial opposition. Despite this, the strategic alliances and negotiations detailed by Al-Fayez highlight a moment of political compromise.
His interview with Adnan Al-Taei:
In Basra, Hassan Shaddad from The National State Forces Alliance was initially with us during the session. However, he withdrew later, leaving us with 17 members. We managed to reach an agreement with part of the Coordination Framework forces. The discussions went on through the night and into the morning of the provincial session. The outcome, as observed on Monday, was the reappointment of the governor and the second deputy for Tasmim, while the first deputy position went to the State of Law Coalition. Additionally, the council president position was secured for Nabni, with the vice president role going to Tasmim.
I personally put forth a significant effort for Al-Eidani and for Nasif Al-Khatibi, the governor of Karbala, when discussing the issue of governors at the Framework meeting. I found myself as the lone voice opposing the replacement of the incumbents. Sheikh Hamam and the Prime Minister were absent initially, but they attended the second session and supported my proposal. My argument was that successful governors should leverage their achievements for the betterment of the Framework, given their membership in it.
The majority of the Framework members were absent from the Monday session due to issues in other governorates. The Framework had outlined a general strategy for all the governorates, but disagreements arose over some governorates, deviating from the initial agreements, and that’s where the progress halted.
We had the opportunity to establish the entire local government in both Basra and Karbala. However, we chose to wait, engage in negotiations, and even postpone the session multiple times to secure an agreement with the Framework. Once we reached an agreement, they supported us. Those who were absent from the session might not have been convinced by the agreement, or there might have been other reasons.
When Khalaf al-Badrani came to the session, where he was appointed as the council president, his attendance was not merely of his own accord but was the result of an agreement with Haj Hadi al-Amiri. Similarly, the participation of the State of Law Coalition was coordinated with ‘Abu Israa’.