On February 17, 2010 Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki declared that the next government of Iraq would be based upon majority rule. The previous administrations were broad alliances made up of Shiites, Sunnis, and Kurds, something encouraged by the United States to foster reconciliation and power sharing, demanded by the main ethnosectarian parties that came to power in 2005, and made necessary by the parliamentary form of government adopted after the overthrow of Saddam. A quota system was also created that carved up the major offices by party. The Prime Minister criticized this system, saying that it was a failure because the different parties in power disagreed with each other, leading to deadlock. Maliki went on to claim that the next government would be a coalition as well, but one based upon lists that shared the same views.
By the end of the month however, the Prime Minister had flip flopped. The secretary general of Maliki’s State of Law said that the list would be open to forming a government with the Iraqi National Alliance, the Kurdish Alliance, and others after the March election. Those are the major players in the current regime, which Maliki said was dysfunctional. None of them agree on major issues either. Maliki and the Sadrists from the National Alliance for example, are opposed to the Kurds’ aspirations to annex Kirkuk and the disputed territories, while Maliki went after Sadr’s militia in 2008, and continues to arrest his followers. Interestingly, the main nationalist list the Iraqi National Alliance wasn’t mentioned, which might have more in common with Maliki’s policies before campaigning for the 2010 vote began, and State of Law jumped on the anti-Baathist bandwagon. Either way, the most recent comments by State of Law and the political reality of no party holding a majority of the public’s support will likely mean that whatever new government comes into power this year, will look and act much like the old government.
AK News, “Maliki seeks coalition after March polls,” 3/1/10
- “MP: majority’s dictatorship to alter majority’s democracy in Iraq,” 2/17/10
Aswat al-Iraq, “Maliki reveals intention to form coalition after elections,” 2/28/10
Al-Mada, “Iraqi PM Al-Maliki: Next Government Will Be Coalition Government,” MEMRI Blog, 2/18/10
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