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Is Sudani’s tenure under scrutiny?

BAGHDAD, January 7 – Before the recent U.S. attack on the Popular Mobilization Forces’ headquarters in Baghdad, political analysts in frequent television interviews were making “assertions” about a movement to replace Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani. These assertions included claims that “the mission he was tasked with had ended, and it was time to choose a ‘ready’ replacement.” This has been described by politicians in the major blocs as nothing more than “test messages and pulse-feeling.”

Various analysts in the public sphere have proposed different hypotheses about the goings-on in the political arena. Some claim to have “certain” information about decisions made there, including changes to “the highest post in government.” Pro Coordination Framework political analysts confidently stated in TV broadcasts last week that “the Coordination Framework’s decision to end Sudani’s rule is certain,” some naming Nouri Kamel al-Maliki as the replacement. They reasoned that Sudani had assisted the Framework in navigating a sensitive phase, which he had accomplished, referring to the provincial elections.

However, these claims are challenging to verify, as journalists often discover that what is widely discussed in the public domain for a limited period amounts to just test messages and pulse-feeling, as a leader from the “State Administration” coalition described to 964media. The leader, preferring to remain anonymous, mentioned that “an important player – most likely – wanted to test the waters, sending an indirect message to Sudani… Sudani’s ambitions are under scrutiny and caution by some in the Coordination Framework.”

But after the recent U.S. attack, this maneuvering has reportedly diminished in importance due to a focus on containing the escalation’s fallout. When 964media inquired from a member of the “State of Law” coalition and political analysts about the hypothesis of dispensing with Sudani, all of them dismissed it. However, there’s a caveat that the current equation might change if the government continues to struggle with resolving major files.

Sabah Al-Ageeli, a political analyst for 964media, notes that the current government differs from previous ones due to substantial public and political support. The notion of replacing Sudani is far from reality, and the government is expected to complete its constitutional term. The Coordination Framework might even grant Sudani a second term due to his achievements.

Al-Nasir Dureid, another political analyst, mentions that it’s difficult to discuss ending Sudani’s term under current circumstances, especially with the concerning situation following the U.S. airstrikes against armed factions in Iraq. The Coordination Framework still fully supports Sudani’s government, but the situation could change with internal political conflicts and the government’s failure to resolve various critical issues.

Haider Al-Lami, a leader in the “State of Law,” states that there’s no talk or intention within the Coordination Framework or the Shiite forces in general to remove Sudani from his current position. A high-level meeting was held last Saturday between Shiite forces, attended by Sudani, to discuss the recent security crisis with the U.S. and the necessary actions to be taken by the government.