Thursday, November 4, 2010

Maliki Gains More Support To Remain Iraq’s Premier

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki continues to gain support for his bid to remain in power. On November 2, 2010 the Fadhila Party announced that it had come out in support of Maliki. The Fadhila Party is part of the Iraqi National Alliance along with the Supreme Council (SIIC), the Sadrists, the Iraqi National Congress, and former prime minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari. On October 1, the National Alliance said that it was backing Maliki, but Fadhila and the SIIC did not attend the press conference. Instead, they stated that they were for Iyad Allawi and his Iraqi National Movement. Now Fadhila has made an about face. Fadhila won seven seats in the March election. With the State of Law’s 89, the Sadrists’ 40, and the Iraqi National Congress and Jaafari’s one apiece, Maliki now has 138 seats on his side. He needs 163 to have a majority in parliament.

It appears the Kurdish Coalition may have tacitly given their support to Maliki as well. A Sadrist for example, said that they along with the Kurds were trying to convince the National Movement to accept the speaker of parliament and the national security council. Since the Sadrists back Maliki it can only be assumed that they and the Kurdish Coalition are working together to get Allawi to join a Maliki led government. If the Kurds with their 49 seats are behind Maliki then he would have a total of 187, enough to form the next government.

Even with these turn of events, Iraq’s political parties still have a long way to go. The Kurds, the Sadrists, and others all want the National Movement to join a national unity coalition. Allawi is playing hardball however, and there have been stories that this is causing tensions within his list. On November 2 it was reported that he threatened to quit talks and go into the opposition. If Allawi’s coalition doesn’t join the new ruling coalition, its members would be shut out of ministries, jobs, and patronage, and it could increase sectarian tensions and politics as many Sunnis and secular nationalists could feel excluded from the new government as many supported the National Movement. Even after all the lists agree to join together they would then have to divvy up the ministries and government offices, which would take more time. This is the nature of Iraqi politics. Everything is always drawn out with false starts and stops, and always the drama.

SOURCES

Alsumarian News, Al Jewar.org, “Government Formation in Iraq – A Status Report,” MEMRI Blog, 10/29/10

Aswat al-Iraq, “Iraq’s Shiite Al-Fadeela Party expresses support for PM Maliki’s nomination for new premiership,” 11/2/10

Chulov, Martin, “Ayad Allawi ready to quit power-sharing talks and lead Iraq opposition,” Guardian, 11/2/10

Al-Haffar, Hasoon, “Sadr to persuade Iraqiya take on certain positions,” AK News, 10/30/10

Al-Rafidayn, Al-Zaman, Alsumaria TV, “Kurds Support Al-Maliki, Urge Al-Iraqiya to Join National Partnership Government,” MEMRI Blog, 10/28/10

Roads To Iraq, “The “Round-Table” results,” 10/28/10

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