Monday, April 17, 2006

Another "a few days" requested, more obstacles emerge.

A few more days they asked for which they claim are necessary to complete the negotiations but in fact it looks like yesterday added new problems in addition to the already existing deadlock represented by nominating a new PM and it seems that creating problems has become a trait of the political blocs in a sequence of reactions that make accordance seem far from reach at this point.

The new problem emerged as the UIA rejected the Accord Front nomination of Tariq al-Hashimi for speaker of parliament without stating why and so did the Accord Front by rejecting the Iraqi List's nomination of Allawi for vice president. In the latter case the rejection was made for probably power-related reasons because the Accord Front would not let the two deputy posts go to two men from other blocs, thus they presented their candidate Adnan al-Dulaimi.
Four months after the elections and the only single post out of the top nine that has been agreed upon is the president's which no one is running for except Talabani and even this post is threatened by a possible reactionary objection that can emerge at any minute.
While for the remaining 8 posts, the most likely candidates are:

For vice president (2):
Ayad Allawi and Hachim al-Hasani from the Iraqi list, Salih al-Mutlac from the Dialogue Front (whose brother's body was found today after being kidnapped two weeks ago), Adnan al-Dulaimi and Mahmoud al-Mashhadani from the Accord Front and Aadil Abdul Mahdi from the UIA.

For deputy speaker of parliament (2):
Fouad Ma'soum and Aarif Tayfour from the Kurdish Alliance and Hussein al-Shahristani and Humam Hammoudi from the UIA.

For deputy prime minister (2):
Barham Salih, Noori Shawees and Aazad Berwari from the Kurdish Alliance, Mehdi al-Hafidh from the Iraqi list and Khalaf al-Ilayan from the Accord Front.

For speaker of parliament: Tariq al-Hashimi, rejected by the UIA. (Also had his brother assassinated last week and I'm afraid these two assassinations will have a negative effect on the process).

For Prime minister: Well, you know the story.

Yesterday was a long day and carried many signs for a long stalemate; until late evening Jafari was saying he accepted to step aside in return for withdrawing Abdul Mahdi's nomination but he changed hi mind later and didn't even wait for the morning to make the announcement which given an idea of the state of restlessness and impatience.

A leading figure in the UIA on condition of anonymity confirmed the above news to al-Sharq al-Awsat putting the blame on the Dawa Party for this political crisis, but I personally think that all the blocs are to blame for it.
The irresponsible attitude they're showing leads to the conclusion that reaching a solution and the one big deal that covers all nine top posts will be obstructed by objections on the smaller details. This frustrating situation pushed some politicians to seek and speak of emergency solution plans like the 'National rescue government' reportedly proposed by al-Hakeem that speaks basically of forming a new interim government where Abdul Mahdi becomes prime minister for one year to be followed by new general elections to elect a new parliament.
Another alternative was proposed by Ayad al-Samerra'i member of the Accord Front and spokesman of 'Maram'. This one suggests that the current "political paralysis may push the Kurds, Iraqi list, Accord and Dialogue fronts and whoever wants to join us from the UIA to work out a solution to get out of this crisis" obviously alluding to his bloc's willingness to work with the SCIRI and other UIA members who oppose Jafari but not with the Dawa or the Sadrists.

The few days they asked for are not a lot of time, yet a few days can suffice if the will to reach a solution exists among the blocs and this is the question that Iraqis are concerned about right now.

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