Thursday, February 02, 2006

The negotiations...

For the second day in a row, Iraqi political powers have a meeting that everyone attended.
Today at Talabani's HQ in Baghdad everyone was there; Talabani, Barzani, Allawi, al-Mutlaq, al-Hakeem, al-Hashimi, Jafari and many others.
The statements that were given after this meeting were in general brief which gives an impression that these are only preparatory meetings while real talks are yet to come. But it also gives an impression that the politicians are planning to form a national unity government.
In his brief statement, Allawi said he expects a national unity government to emerge soon while Talabani said that the Kurds will not discuss details until the final results are certified.
I actually find it rather strange because everyone knows that no change is expected in the results and this certification process is a mere formality.

In the past two days there has been an escalating debate between the Accord Front and the current government; the Accord Front demanded the resignation of the interior minister and warned from civil disobedience if the government ignored this demand and today, Khalaf al-Ilayan from the Front made another demand, he said "We are asking the government to issue an order to prohibit night raids by the security forces and to include the MNF during day raids to make sure that these raids are legitimate. If the government does not fulfill this demand, we will authorize the raided districts to resist those raids".

It's worth mentioning that the Front has announced yesterday that their plans to be part of a national unity government won the support of the majority of their supporters. The Front revealed that a poll they conducted in a number of provinces with Sunni majority shown that 98% of the Front's supporters will back the plan to join a national unity government.

One last thing, the UIA were supposed to declare their choice from the new PM by today according to a former statement but this didn’t happen and it looks like this issue is going to take more time.

The Trial...

Today we watched another session of Saddam's trial and actually we have received many questions from readers about our opinion on the proceedings.
We haven't been writing on this for some time now because honestly (and this is my personal opinion only) I have lost interest in this trial because of the absolutely unjustified and needless interference from the government.

Although many of the politicians said they didn't put any pressure on the old judge, their public criticism for him and for his management of the trial suggests that there have been pressures from the government and government-affiliated powers.
I believe that the resignation of Judge Rezgar was a step backwards…
Many Iraqis want to see Saddam get humiliated by a judge who is good at yelling and cursing but I believe that the best way to give dictatorship a blow is to give Saddam a fair trial that builds the foundations of a society that runs by the law and respects human rights while serving justice.


I was thinking that if a shortage in gasoline supplies in Baghdad is worth reporting then it should also be a good idea to report that that shortage is now relatively over.
You probably already know that the government multiplied all fuel prices by 3 and in some cases by 5.
Right now the situation is like this; you go to one gas station and you find a line that is a mile long and you go to another one to see there's technically no line at all!

This is not a puzzle or something, the reason is quite simple; the former gas station sells locally produced gasoline at 40 cents/gallon while the latter sells imported gasoline at 70 cents/gallon.
So to put it simply, if you can afford to pay 70 cents for the gallon you would say that there's absolutely no problem with getting gasoline but if you can't, then you'd say that getting gasoline is a real pain in the neck.

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