Eight lawmakers from Iyad Allawi’s Iraqi National Movement announced their split from the list on March 7, 2011. The group consists of Minister of State for Tribal Affairs Jamal Batikh, Hassan Aliwi, Aliya Nassif, Khadim Shammari, Aziz Maahi, Qutaiba Jabouri, and Ahmed Oaibi. Together they formed the White Iraqi National Movement Party, led by Aliwi and Batikh, with Jabouri being their parliamentary head.
The new party provided several reasons for why they decided to leave the National Movement. One was that they claimed the parliament needed an opposition to keep the government honest, and represent the people. They also accused Allawi of failing to implement the National Movement’s program. They went on to say that the National Movement had not fulfilled its promises to its followers, criticized the fact that Allawi could’ve aligned with Maliki to rule the country without all the other parties but didn’t, and that the planned National Council for Strategic Policies was a failed idea.
Currently there is only one winning party that did not join the national unity government. That is the Kurdish opposition party the Change List. They won eight seats in the March 2010 election, but quit the Kurdish Coalition and a chance to join Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s new administration in October 2010. They too felt there were problems with the leaders of their list, and decided to go it alone.
Together the White Iraqi National Movement Party and the Change List have 16 out of 325 seats in the new parliament. This is the first time since the first post-Saddam Hussein elections were held in January 2005 that parties have decided to not join the government. Politicians have always felt that being part of the ruling coalition, and reaping its benefits, namely gaining ministries, outweighed any other course of action. Now two small groups of parliamentarians have chosen to take the bold step of standing on their own. Whether they’re successful or not, could go a long way to convincing other parties to follow their lead, creating a real opposition in the legislature that can hold the prime minister responsible for his decisions, and monitor the actions of his ministers.
Alsumaria, “Eight MPs withdraw from Iraqiya, form new party,” 3/8/11
Shames, Abdullah, ”Eight al-Iraqiya deputies announce split from bloc,” AK News, 3/7/11
- “Newly-formed Iraqiya White Party says govt. needs opposition,” AK News, 3/8/11