Objections to the outcome of the Iraqi elections are natural, justified and understandable. What cannot be justified or understood is bringing the political process to a halt under this pretext. Similarly, the call to hold the elections again is unjust and abusive.
The Iraqi president has called for the formation of a national unity government which consists of all parties including those who are objecting to the elections results. According to this, no political parties should be left out. All parties concerned should participate in a national unity government that bears the responsibility of Iraq’s reconstruction. This is one of the mechanisms which could be used in the parliament.
There is another mechanism. No matter how small they may be in size, all parties and listings that object to the outcome of the elections can form a strong and effective opposition front and abstain from participating in the government. This mechanism could be useful, if the opposition observed and respected the rules of the democratic game. The opposition should respect the majority’s opinion. It should become a constructive opposition that aims at disclosing corruption and manipulation. It should make sure that the state is run and directed in a modern and civilized way.
Such opposition could succeed if it contributed positively in the political process and in turning the parliamentary minority into a majority on the street. It could embarrass the government and its parliamentary majority and parties and can become a safety valve for the administration of the state.
The Iraqi political forces should come out of the circle of objection against the electoral process and move into the circle of political action. This requires that all Iraqi parties should remember that the battle in Iraq is not between the different parties of the political process. It is rather a battle against the forces of terrorism, and against chaos and unruliness. They should remember there are common goals between them. On the top of such goals come the reconstruction of the state on humanitarian bases, the rehabilitation of political and academic institutions and civil society organizations, and the creation of a competitive economic society which would put Iraq back on the regional and international competitive arena.
Iraq has a historic opportunity. The country is rich and oil producing. It has great resources which have been wasted by the former regime in pointless wars. It has a large number of scientists, technocrats and doctors who have left their homeland unwillingly.
The important thing is that the forces that feel the elections have not been fair to them should cooperate with the other forces. They should either enter with them in a government of national unity which undertakes to reconstruct Iraq, or they should form a parliamentary opposition group which monitors, brings to account and mobilizes the people. The important thing is to get out of the circle of protest and reaction to the circle of action.