Wednesday, June 01, 2005

It seems that Iyad Allawi is planning to return back strongly to the political arena in the near future, as shows this piece from Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper (Arabic) which included excerpts from a recent interview with Allawi:

Iyad Allawi, the ex-PM of Iraq and the leader of Iraq's 1st democratic opposition in half a century is planning to build an alliance during the coming 7 months to bring Iraqi back to the "secular system" when Iraqi voters will vote to choose a new elected government by the end of this year.
Allawi to some extent had disappeared from the political scene after power moved to the hands of the Shea't block in the National Assembly and he spent a lot of his time in the capitals of the ME having meetings with the leaders over there.

Last month he met the Syrian president Asad and he got Asad's support for his suggestion to bring UN supervisors to monitor the borders area between the two countries which is believed to be a crossing point for foreign fighters.

PM Jafari's government publicly blames Syria for the "lack of cooperation" regarding controlling the borders and the government never mentioned anything about Allawi's efforts.

"This is something new in Iraq; it's our role now to be the constructive opposition" said Allawi in an interview last week in Baghdad.

"We're trying to become pioneers…we have worked hard to become pioneers of democracy and now we're trying to stabilize the concepts of democracy by taking the responsibility of the constructive opposition" he added.

And according to Allawi, secular Iraqis-who dominated politics in Iraq through out most of its modern history-will remain on the margin until next December when Iraqis are going to elect a new government according to the new constitution which is being drafted right now.

He says, speaking of secular parties "I guess the future will be theirs, the current phase is assisting politicians reinforce their power depending on their ideologies and programs but I think that this country's future requires a government that is secular, moderate and believes in a strong Iraq that lives in peace with its neighbors".

Assuming that Iraq can override the increasing sectarian dispute, then Allawi will need 1st to win the Kurds' trust (who are mostly Sunni but secular) and persuade them to abandon their alliance with the She'at religious parties. Maybe he should consider allying even with the religious Sunni.
Allawi said that he lost his post because he was too busy running the country's affairs which took most of his attention and distracted him from building up a stronger block.

I do believe that the next elections will give different results and it's possible that a bigger role will go for the secular parties in general but this will depend mainly on two factors; the performance of the current government and more important on the rise of a strong alliance of secular parties with clear platforms.


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