Members of the Iraqi National Movement have been frustrated since the March 2010 parliamentary elections. They came out with the most seats in the legislature, but were outmaneuvered by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, who was able to put together a new ruling coalition and stay in office for a second term. Because all post-2005 Iraqi governments have been national unity ones, that meant the National Movement still got important positions within the regime. The list’s leader, Iyad Allawi however, has been left out in the cold, as the council he was supposed to head will probably never be created. That has led him to make constant accusations against Maliki, and go back and forth on issues, regardless of the rest of his party's opinion. That has led to small factions breaking away from his list.
On October 15, 2011, it was reported that members of the Solution Bloc were leaving the Iraqi National Movement to form their own party. They were led by Kamal al-Dulaimi, and created the Political Process Correction bloc. They claimed they wanted to reform the country’s political system, and amend the constitution. How many members this new party had was not noted. This was the fourth time parliamentarians have left Allawi’s list. Back in March, six members of the National Movement departed to form the Youth of Iraq Party. They claimed that the list’s leaders were not considering the rank and file. Three days before that, eight other lawmakers also defected, and created the White Iraqi National Movement. They blamed Iyad Allawi for failing to implement the National Movement’s program. Finally, back in February, Qutaiba Jabouri was expelled from the party over his claim to one of the vice president positions. Jabouri later joined the White Iraqi National Movement. Allawi was able to make up for these losses when in August, it was announced that the Centrist Alliance, which consisted of the Unity of Iraq list and the Iraqi Accordance Front with a total of ten seats, was joining his list. Still, the complaints about the Iraqi National Movement have been pretty consistent. The list is deeply divided between its seven factions. Those are Allawi’s Iraqi National List, Deputy Premier Saleh al-Mutlaq’s National Dialogue Front, Speaker of parliament Osama Nujafi’s Iraqiyoon Group, Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi’s Renewal Movement, Jamal Karbuili’s Solution Movement, Minister of Finance Rafi Issawi’s Independent trend, and Salam Zubaie’s Rafidain Movement. Allawi is constantly harping about being shut out from the government, while others such as Speaker Osama Nujafi, Vice President Hashemi, and Deputy Premier Mutlaq are largely happy with their positions. Those officials also rarely consult with their rank and file. With that continuing, it’s likely that more members will leave in the future in an attempt to get their voices heard, rather than be ignored by their leaders, and have to put up with Allawi’s complaining.
Iraq’s politics are very fractious. The country’s politicians are still dealing with disputes that date back to the Saddam years. The party leaders are obsessed with holding onto power, and their relative position vis-a-vis each other. These conflicts obscure what’s really important in the country, and the needs of the average lawmaker are hardly ever heard. That’s especially true of the Iraqi National Movement that has deep divides. Future news of defections therefore, can be expected as Allawi and the others overlook their parties for their own personal gains.
Aswat al-Iraq, “Difference, that caused withdrawal of 10 al-Iraqiya Coalition Legislatures, settled:,” 12/18/10
- “Iraq’s Middle Alliance joins al-Iraqiya Coalition to form powerful Parliamentary opposition bloc, its MP says,” 8/2/11
Tayyeb, Mohammed, “MPs found new political bloc,” AK News, 10/15/11
Al-Zubaidi, Ahmed, “Announcing the formation of a new menu within the Iraqi,” Radio Free Iraq, 10/16/11