We all heard the news last night that Aadil AbdulMahdi, the vice president from the UIA agreed to sign president Talabani's written call for the new parliament to convene by March 12 but I chose not to give more value to this news than it actually deserves because I felt that AbdulMahdi's signature was mere ink on paper but meant very little on the ground….at least for the time being.
It is known that the Kurds, Sunni and secular blocs are for holding the first session of the parliament as soon as possible and the only bloc that proposed a delay was the UIA.
Talabani responded to this proposal by calling for a meeting between the political leaders and said that he would then listen to the opinions of the blocs' leaders to reach accordance on this issue.
But then AbdulMahdi gave his signature last night…so why hold the meeting then?
The leaked news from members of the UIA indicate that the bloc is split over the timing of seating the parliament with the Da'wa and Sadrists against the March 12 deadline and the SCIRI, Fadheela and most of the independents standing for it.
With 130 members in one bloc and each one of them has family, friends and acquaintances, leaked news become abundant; sources close to members of the UIA told us that the leaders of the UIA are willing to pull back Jafari's nomination and present a new candidate but on rather tough conditions.
The source said he believes the Shia leaders need more time to negotiate these conditions with the Kurdish, Accord and Iraqi blocs.
At least that's what the UIA has been propagating among their supporters lately and I suspect this represents an effort to preserve the 'face' of the bloc before declaring reaching compromise with the other blocs.
The first meeting that took place today in the government's headquarters didn't result in anything new and we heard half an hour ago that a second meeting is in session so there will be updates once available.
Update: 10:30 pm
Just got an update saying that leaders of the parliamnentary blocs have agreed on calling the new parliament to convene on Sunday March 19.