Friday, October 01, 2010

Government formation update

The government formation process seems to have reached critical mass and I suspect we’re going to see some interesting developments within the next couple weeks. Here’s where the different groups stand as of now:


The Sadrists (40 seats) made a 180 degree turn earlier this week by supporting Maliki’s bid for a second term. Apparently a fatwa from Ayatollah Ha’iri (Moqtada’s mentor) forced him to change his mind, even though he had been consistently and adamantly opposed to letting Maliki stay for a second term. But Sadr isn't particularly famous for being consistent! His followers are confused to say the least, because Sadr has more than once referred to Maliki as a liar and a hypocrite. Now Sadr is telling his followers that his decision to support the same hypocrite is “in their best interest.”

This change in Sadr’s position has brought the Iraqi National Alliance (INA: Sadrists, ISCI, and Fadheela) to the brink of collapse. While Sadr and Fadheela endorse Maliki, ISCI, led by Ammar Hakim remains opposed to Maliki staying power and is still trying to promote its own candidate Aadil Abdul Mahdi. In fact, ISCI is in a tough position because it’s suffering from internal divisions as well. Badr organization (aka Badr Brigade, led by Hadi Al-Aamiri, who is very close to Iran) which represents roughly half of ISCI is moving in the same direction as Sadr. Hakim and Abdul Mahdi believe this is their last chance to remain a relevant player. They see they have been losing ground and clout to their rivals/partners over time. Five years ago ISCI (back then SCIRI) was the largest, most powerful Shiite party, but now they have only 17 seats out of 325. ISCI leaders think that a deal with Allawi could give them some of that power back.

The Kurds (57 seats) are generally closer to Allawi these days, but also have some disagreements. Masoud Barzani seems comfortable supporting Allawi, but Jalal Talabani sounds like he’s been under a lot of pressure from Iran to go in the opposite direction. This is potentially dangerous.

The two smaller blocs; Tawafok (6 seats) and Iraq Unity (4 seats) can be counted as Allawis upporters.

The INA is having a meeting today with Maliki’s bloc, but ISCI is not going to take part. The meeting will most certainly result in declaring Maliki as the official candidate of the so called National Coalition (INA+Maliki’s State of Law coalition). This would give Maliki 140 votes—and potentially half a dozen more if Badr breaks away from ISCI.

The only option for the other blocs to counter this outcome would be to form their own coalition, and there are signals (particularly from Allawi) that this is already in the works. If the Kurds, ISCI and the two smaller parties join Allawi (assuming Talabani doesn’t go astray) they will have a total of 168-175 votes, depending on whether Badr stays or goes with Maliki. Either number is of course greater than 163, which is what they need to present their own candidate; that would be Allawi, or Abdul Mahdi.

UPDATE:

Maliki is now officially nominated for the premiership with Sadr's support. ISCI boycotted the meeting.

27 comments:

Kevin said...

Great to see a new post on Iraq the model.  Could one of you write a story comparing Iraqi life in 2002 vs. 2010?  I'd love to hear how things have changed, for better and worse, from a website who's authors I trust completely.

Hameed Abid said...

There should be a coalition government led by Al Maliky to include Ayad Allawi, if he is elected to lead his group.

There are many who see today choice as a step in the right direction.

However, Sadr should be rewarded by coming to Iraq to stand tria for Murder of Khoe.

Kind regards

Louise said...

Something that is so hard to put together will be very fragile. Whatever the final form is, I hope it lasts long enough to get something done for Iraq's people. They've been waiting far too long.

Mister Ghost said...

Muqtadr al Sadr - KINGMAKER.

Got to love it. LOL.

Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz... must be turning in their graves. LOL.

It was what I expected actually.
Unfortunately Iraq is not as secular as the Western-influenced bloggers portray it to be.

Ladybird via Al-Hayat has what the Sadrists were offered: Maliki offered the Gen­eral Sec­re­tariat of the Coun­cil of Min­is­ters, the Anti-Terrorism secu­rity appa­ra­tus and five service-ministries, as well as the release all Sadrists prisoners.
_______

But as always with Arab Media, it's prudent to not believe everything you read.

Still, the Sadrists will obviously have a sizeable influence in the
new government and the Kurds will
get their share - likely more leeway toward independence and a favorable ruling regarding Kirkuk.

LOL, can this part be true though? From Egyptian newspaper El-Esboe:

Mohamed Abdel-Hamid Mahdi Army leader and holds a mil­i­tary rank in Iran’s Rev­o­lu­tion­ary Guards , to head the Inte­rior Min­istry, although he did not fin­ished the pri­mary school.


A guy that holds a rank in Iran's revolutionary guards will be in charge of the Interior Ministry?

Run Sunnis run.

Mister Ghost said...

However the government shakes out, having the Sadrists run anything, control any ministry or have a major influence will be a disaster.

But, the Iraqis voters have no one but themselves to blame.

Unfortunately, the two Shia Theocratic Fundamentalist blocs/lists/parties combined are the largest group in parliament and thus it was a given they would be in control after the Iraqi voters chose them.

And don't expect the Shia to give up power in the future.

Secularism is dead in Iraq.

Kafir said...

I read conjecture that in return for their support, the Sadrists made a deal to get control of one of the security agencies (Defense or Interior). If this is true, what are the repercussions?

Mister Ghost said...

Muqtadr al Sadr - KINGMAKER.

Got to love it. LOL.

Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz... must be turning in their graves. LOL.

It was what I expected actually.
Unfortunately Iraq is not as secular as the Western-influenced bloggers portray it to be.

Ladybird via Al-Hayat has what the Sadrists were offered: Maliki offered the Gen­eral Sec­re­tariat of the Coun­cil of Min­is­ters, the Anti-Terrorism secu­rity appa­ra­tus and five service-ministries, as well as the release all Sadrists prisoners.
_______

But as always with Arab Media, it's prudent to not believe everything you read.

Still, the Sadrists will obviously have a sizeable influence in the
new government and the Kurds will
get their share - likely more leeway toward independence and a favorable ruling regarding Kirkuk.

LOL, can this part be true though? From Egyptian newspaper El-Esboe:

Mohamed Abdel-Hamid Mahdi Army leader and holds a mil­i­tary rank in Iran’s Rev­o­lu­tion­ary Guards , to head the Inte­rior Min­istry, although he did not fin­ished the pri­mary school.


A guy that holds a rank in Iran's revolutionary guards will be in charge of the Interior Ministry?

Run Sunnis run.

Mister Ghost said...

It's the Interior Ministry apparently, if the report from<span> El-Esboe is true.</span>
And the repercussions?
LOL, well if you're a Sunni., I think you better make plans to emigrate or fight for your right to party.
The 1400 year old Sunni - Shi'a war will continue unabated.

Mister Ghost said...

However the government shakes out, having the Sadrists run anything, control any ministry or have a major influence will be a disaster.

But, the Iraqis voters have no one but themselves to blame.

Unfortunately, the two Shia Theocratic Fundamentalist blocs/lists/parties combined are the largest group in parliament and thus it was a given they would be in control after the Iraqi voters chose them.

And don't expect the Shia to give up power in the future.

Secularism is dead in Iraq.

Kafir said...

Again I ask: What is wrong with some Iraqis that the stupidest of the Al-Sadr clan can run off to hide in Iran leaving his army to be mowed down in the streets by US and Iraqi forces and still they vote for his bloc? For once, I agree with Mister Ghost that putting Sadr in charge of anything is a grave mistake. Hopefully, the rest of the government will keep them in check.

Hameed Abid said...

Kafir

If the Iraqi government put Al Sader and any of his men who were melitias and highwaymen only few months ago will be like having a fox guarding your chickens.

They should continue the anaconda policy towards them and should remember, that criminals must not be rewarded with positions of power or influence.

They will lead the country to ruins and prevent and influence negatively the investors from coming into Iraq.

The people will not forgive them.

Kind regards

Greg From USA said...

It is a mess, but it is Iraq's mess.

Either Malaki or Allawi will make an adaquate leader. Malaki stood beside Bush when he was getting shoes thrown at him. Allawi is a strong leader who will protect the minorities.

The more Iraqis expect the US or UN to intervene, the better. In the end, only Iraqis can fix this and the clearer that lesson is the better.

Iraqis had the chance to copy the US constitution of 1791, and to my naive disappointment they didn't. However the constitution they drew up was a big step in the right direction and is unprecedented in the Middle East, aside from Isreal.

Speaking of Isreal, given Iraq's new democracy, and US strategic protection, they have the opportunity to become the richest most powerful country in the Mideast.

So what is in their way? Attitude.

If the US learns anything from Iraq, it should be that you cant just roll in, hand out beer and blue jeans and expect democracy to take hold. That is arrogance.

If Iraq learns anything from the US, it should be that if you want to be a rich and powerful leader, you need to roll into every situation full of energy and confidently expect the best.

Iraq is no longer the victim. They are the most educated, most free, brimming with resources, and most protected Islamic country. This is the time for leaders to step up and end the impasse.

Iraqis need to invent "The Iraqi CAN DO attitude" To do it "Iraq's Way"

Greg From USA said...

(continuing) Cynicism protects us from being fooled or cheated. But it also protects us from success. It keeps us stuck in a rut sucking our thumbs. Right now people are worried about Allawi or Malaki. There is fear of Sadr becoming a kingmaker with disproportionate power. The real question people should ask is How does any of this get in the way of MY SUCCESS and my country's success? If Sadr can be a kingmaker, lawmakers should ask themselves how they can be kingmakers? Who can they team up with to be successful at some level? But time is of the essence - a delay this long does not reflect a can do attitude - it says "This is the way it has been for some time and nothing I do will change it"

In the US, people had that attitude, until Obama came along with his message of hope and change. The American people ate it up and jumped on board right away. Obama has proved incompetant and made our situation much worse. 10% unemployment is unbearable for Americans. The last time this happened was the 1970s. America was weak and declining.

The cynic will say that Americans are easily fooled and will believe any snake oil salesman. America is on the decline. The cynic does not understand America and never will. We use creative destruction to achieve success. As terrible as the 1970s were, we all know what happened in the 1980s. A leader came along and reminded us of our "can do" roots. Our economy doubled and the Soviets collapsed trying to keep up. Now a great tidal wave is building. The USA is setting itself up for another period of expansion.

Today, just for today, approach every situation expecting the best. "How can I achieve success in the next hour?" Always keep 2 immediate goals in your head.

Greg From USA said...

Here are some videos that are more entertaining than me.

This one illustrates creative destruction on a personal level
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_tjYoKCBYag

This one is about improved morale. We threw money at the problem of rebuilding Europe's economy, but it was human spirit that made that money count. How much have we thrown at Iraq?<span> </span>Iraqi morale is also needed.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U2G_2fj4cqg

This one shows how Women comprise the core of any modern economic system. The campy 1960s video shows that even though times have changed fundamental economics has not. Women in Iraq need to be lead actors on the economic stage to stimulate an economic boom.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lSsjMqBp2wg

Someone needs to translate stuff like this into Arabic. Hopefully this translation does not say something dumb like "Iraqis can do themselves"

<span><span>العراق لم يعد الضحية. </span><span>العراق هو الأكثر تعليما ، والعراق هو حر ، العراق لديه موارد الطبيعية ، والعراق بلد إسلامي محمية من قبل الولايات المتحدة. </span><span>هذا هو الوقت المناسب للقادة في العراق لتصعيد ووضع حد للمأزق.
 
</span><span>العراقيون في حاجة الى موقف ان يتمكن العراقيون من الحصول على جميع وظائف القيام به. </span><span>واضاف "ان العراقيين القيام بأي مهمة". </span><span>يحتاج العراقيون لتبين لنا "الطريق إلى الأمام العراقية".</span></span>

Asher Abrams said...

Omar, good to see you posting.  Thanks for this very informative update.  Hope you are well.

Anonymous said...

This is the kind of thing I try to teach people. Can we expect a sequel?

saivta said...

Title - Data Entry Outsourcing Projects Available at www.visionjobcare.com
visionjobcare.comoffers different types of outsourcing projects. Online data entry is one of the best home job for housewives, unemployed, students and part time job finders. Easy Job, just spend 2hrs. daily, & make massive monthly income. We pay you $5 per Assignment. Each Assignment of 5 lines.
For more details E-mail us at support.visionjob@gmail.com
Visit Us at http://www.visionjobcare.com


Website - http://www.visionjobcare.com

Anonymous said...

Отличная статья! большое спасибо автору за интересный материал. Удачи в развитии!!! :)
--
http://www.miriadafilms.ru/
[url=http://mpeg4.com.ru/index.shtml]Сериалы скачать[/url]

Hameed Abid said...

Dear O and M

The cold blooded murder of the Catholic Iraqi Christians at Al Najat Church in Baghdad was terrible.

We send our sincere condolences to our chritian brothers and sisters, theri families,  their relatives and friends. we wish the injured a speedy recovery. This crime is yet another face of the pigottry of the Qaeda and its supporters in Iraq who do not wish Iraq and its people well.

Tha Iraqi christians are a source of pride amongst their muslim brothers for Iraq and the rest of the muslim world. To target them at their religious places of worship is a height of cowrdice.

God  bless all decent people everywhere.

Kind regards

Anonymous said...

ab?ad?b

Anonymous said...

Clearly noticed!

Anonymous said...

I like this site. Really nice place for all

Anonymous said...

Good Article

Anonymous said...

Good article. Thank you.
http://sonniksnet.blog.com/2011/01/08/order-mefenorex

Anonymous said...

This is very inspiring work you have created for us. Some people need to know that these things can ensue to anyone. You have shown me a better view now.

Anonymous said...

Good article. Thank you
http://ordererimin.putblog.com/2011/01/10/4/

Erectile Dysfunction said...

Great website, looks very clean and organized. Keep up the good work!