Saturday, March 26, 2005

The long road of democracy.

While a state of discomfort from the delay in announcing the formation of the government is growing on the streets in Iraq, the involved parties continue their discussions and negotiations to define the formation of the government and distribute the tasks and posts of the future administration.

An important point here is that people in Iraq have begun to absorb the democratic practice and they began to realize the democracy doesn't end once they cast the ballots and every new phase requires more time and effort. Expecting too much to happen from the 1st phase is an fantasy but still what has been achieved is very big considering the short time elapsed since the 1st steps of the change were made and the unfamiliarity of the people and the leaderships with the new experience.

The Iraqi elections were truly a source of pride for Iraqis and a scene of bravery that deserves a lot of respect from the world and the time has come for the people to be rewarded for their bravery by their elected future leaders who need to address their responsibilities towards their people.

What's really special about the post-election phase is the obvious consciousness of most political parties about the situation. They have understood that dialogue is the only way we have and everyone is learning how to sit to the negotiations table and show lots of patience. And despite the tension that we can see now, the talks have remained confined to the circle of civilized dialogue.

The talks between the Kurdish alliance and the National Coalition are still facing some obstacles and the debate is still on in what looks like a last-hour negotiations while the Iraqi list led by Allawi which is the 3rd largest mass in the national Assembly is still holding reservations about the formation of the government and has its own demands regarding taking part in the new formation. These demands and reservations were submitted in a memorandum to the Kurds and the Coalition after the liberal She'at cleric Hussain Al-Sadr criticized the Coalition's list saying:

Although the list is calling for the participation in a widely represented patriotic government, the Coalition's list is not doing practical steps to prove that.
And he also said
This delay is a stab in the back of the brave Iraqis who risked their lives to make the elections succeed.

Meanwhile, Allawi said that participation requires an accord regarding the political program and the logical pattern we want to adopt in Iraq, and not only having more parties joined in the government.

I think the most important points included in the memorandum are (via Iraqi media sources):
Preparing the military and security forces has to be kept far from partisan and sectarian interventions to make the security issue a national subject.
The memorandum has also demanded the process of deba'athification to be a lawful disciplined process through using evidence, facts and proofs and this point is controversial because the Coalition accuses Allawi of hosting former Ba'athists within his list.

And while the memorandum spoke well of the good and positive role of the clergy, it had also warned from the undesirable consequences that may happen if the clerics decided to go into the details of the political game, a thing that could detach the clergy from its original respectable role.

There was also clear call for a strong stand against the interference of the neighboring countries in the internal affairs of Iraq. The statement didn't name those countries but it's obviously pointing to Iran which ha been accused many times by Allawi of directing and instructing some members of the Coalition's list.
Finally the memorandum called to avoid any further extension for the interim phase.

As far as I know, no response was made to these demands, neither from the Kurds, nor from the Coalition. However they showed their comfort with what has been done during Allawi's term and called him "the man of democracy" who insisted on holding the elections on their planned date.

Some Iraqis still think that the Iraqi list of Allawi was the closest choice to a national Iraqi project as it's the least sectarian and least ethnocentric list among the rest of the list but it's still met with some criticism for endorsing elements of suspicious history and background.

Frankly speaking, I think that those who voted for the Iraqi list were the ones who could overcome their emotions and this segment -although being small when compared with the masses that voted for the other 2 main lists- represents a fair and promising percentage and indicates a growing sense of practicality that overrides the barriers of emotional loyalties.

Till tomorrow, Iraq will be still closely watching the progress of the talks and awaiting its outcome. I think that the gap is still big, except for if the Coalition and the Kurdish list decided to cut down on their partisan ambitions and favored the Iraqi national interest, which if they do, it would be a positive step that the people will remember and appreciate. And it will greatly reduce the time needed for building the new State of Iraq.

At the time the media and the interested observers are busy emphasizing on the violence in Iraq counting bodies (like war reporters do) they're missing a great revolutionary change being made in Iraq towards democracy.
The talks for democracy are much louder a sound than the noise of guns; words and logic are the victors beyond any doubt and the effects of the change in Iraq are spreading across the region.

Several days ago, Waleed Junbulat, the prominent Lebanese opposition leader who was against the war on Saddam at the beginning said
"I was wrong. The sun that rose on Iraq on the 9th of April is now shedding her bright light on the rest of the region".


No comments: