Iraqi politics continue to be plagued by conflicting statements and rumors. There are reports that Prime Minister Norui al-Maliki and his State of Law are shoring up support for his return to power. At the same time there are stories that the National Alliance and the National Movement will refuse to join any coalition led by Maliki.
First, there are articles about Maliki’s imminent return to power. National Public Radio said that the prime minister is shoring up his support both within and without the country. Maliki has the backing of both the United States and Iran, and perhaps Syria as well. A member of State of Law also told Aswat al-Iraq that Maliki would win the nomination of the National Coalition made up of the premier’s list and the Supreme Council-Sadrist led National Alliance soon.
At the exact same time the National Alliance and Iyad Allawi’s National Movement have expressed their continued opposition to Maliki. A wisemen committee made up of 14 members, seven each from the State of Law and National Alliance is supposed to decide on the coalition’s nomination for the premiership. The choice is between Maliki and current Vice President Adel Abdul Mahdi. A member of the Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council (SIIC) however, said that they and the Sadrists would not follow the committee’s decision if they chose Maliki because of his autocratic tendencies. The National Movement also issued a statement saying that they would not join any government headed by the current premier. They claimed that Maliki had been trying to undermine them, and that the National Coalition was sectarian. Ironically, Allawi’s list went on to say that it would continue talks with the National Alliance, the more sectarian Shiite list within the National Coalition.
With Ramadan over, many analysts believed that Iraq’s politicians would finally get around to forming a new government. Instead, it appears like that might still be weeks off. There has been little actual movement besides the nomination of Vice President Mahdi by the National Alliance in early September 2010. Otherwise the various lists have just been posturing, and providing a never ending series of leaks to the media about scenarios that don’t pan out. As ever, the main hold up is the opposition of the National Alliance and National Movement to a second term for Maliki, as well as State of Law’s refusal to allow him to be replaced by Allawi. As long as the two refuse to budge, there will be no progress in Iraqi politics.
Aswat al-Iraq, “Reports on preliminary agreement inside National Coalition on nominating al-Maliki,” 9/24/10
CNN, “Key Iraqi bloc won’t participate in a government led by current PM,” 9/25/10
Ibrahim, Haider, “Coalition parties refuse to back Maliki if his candidature wins internal vote,” AK News, 9/20/10
McEvers, Kelly, “Support For Iraq’s Maliki Puts U.S., Iran In Same Camp,” NPR, 9/20/10