Agence France Presse reported that a power sharing agreement might have been finally worked out amongst Iraq’s leading political parties. Government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh, who is a member of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s State of Law, made the announcement on November 7, 2010. According to Dabbagh, Maliki will remain as premier, Jalal Talabani of the Kurdish Coalition will keep his post as president, and Iyad Allawi’s Iraqi National Movement will receive the speaker of parliament. Tomorrow, November 8, Maliki and Allawi are supposed to travel to the Kurdish capital of Irbil and publicly proclaim the deal. There are conflicting reports on the veracity of this story.
First, a member of the Iraqi Central Alliance, made up of the Iraqi Accordance Front and the Unity of Iraq lists, said that the Kurds and the National Coalition of State of Law and the Sadrist-led Iraqi National Alliance have agreed upon the premier and presidency. Its been said in recent days that the Kurdish Coalition has tacitly given their support to Maliki to maintain his post, while pushing him to accept the Iraqi National Movement in the new ruling coalition.
Second, a member of the National Coalition confirmed the pending power sharing agreement with AK News. He claimed that the National Movement would receive the speaker of parliament, the head of the national security council, and various ministries to gain their membership in the new government.
Politicians from the National Movement have made contradictory statements. On November 7 it was reported in Aswat al-Iraq that no decisions have been made about forming a new coalition. An official from Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi’s Renewal List, which is part of the National Movement, also said that they want the presidency. Leading Kurdish parliamentarian Mahmoud Othman told reporters that the Kurdish Coalition is under pressure from the Obama administration to cede that post to Allawi’s list to win his support, but Othman reiterated the Kurds’ determination to hold onto the presidency.
Iraq is awash in such rumors every couple days. Stories come out of a breakthrough that prove to have no basis in fact. Talks drag on and on and on for months. It’s impossible to determine then whether this latest report is true or not. Observers will just have to wait until tomorrow to see whether Maliki and Allawi officially announce an agreement.
Aswat al-Iraq, “Al-Iraqiya Alliance to settle its contribution in government in two days,” 11/7/10
Issa, Fadi, “Shaways: political bloc’s proposals to the outstanding issues,” AK News, 11/7/10
Al-Jaaf, Wisam, “Al-Iraqiya renews its claim on the Presidency,” AK News, 11/6/10
Al-Jader, May, “Center Coalition announces its support for renewing Talabani for presidency,” AK News, 11/6/10
Ketz, Sammy, “Iraq rivals ‘agree to share power’ eight months after poll,” Agence France Presse, 11/7/10
Al-Wanan, Jaffar, “The National Alliance reaches final solution with al-Iraqiya over distributing posts,” AK News, 11/6/10