Friday, April 21, 2006

Jawad who?

If you listened to what our top politicians said in their press conference yesterday you'd first get a feeling that a solution for the government-formation crisis is imminent, but taking some time to think about the origins of the crisis makes me hesitant to turn that feeling into belief.

As you might already know, Jafari declared that he is willing step aside if the UIA made the call and now the hot candidates for filing the PM post are Jawad al-Maliki and Ali al-Adeeb who are members of Jafari's Dawa Party and the strange thing is that so far, none of the blocs that opposed Jafari's nomination commented in any way on the new candidates although there's less than 24 hours left before the parliament is to convene again.

I'm asking myself here, why should we expect Jafari's opponents to agree on al-Adeeb or al-Maliki? I mean the opposition to Jafari was originally based on disagreeing with his attitudes and on the accusations of being sectarian, incompetent and corrupt. And if that is how the head of the Dawa Party is viewed then it is also expected that other members of the same party are viewed in no better way especially that these members had been showing unimpressive attitudes in their statements over the time we knew them.

As a matter of fact, I see that no logical reason can make the Kurds, Sunni and secular blocs accept the new candidates and it actually confuses me that these blocs have remained silent except for brief optimistic remarks as if the problem was personal with Jafari and not with his attitudes which are naturally expected to be shared by his party members.

It seems now that deals are made and agreements are reached on all of the top nine posts except for one president-deputy post which both Tariq al-Hashimi and Ayad Allawi are running for and I expect this issue to be resolved soon and Allawi will most likely withdraw his nomination and probably move to nominate himself for deputy PM which is a post he can can easily get and be more effective at.

However, the question remains that; will the real problem be solved by this agreement on the top posts?

I guess not because if any of the two new candidates gets to be the new PM, Iraq will–in my opinion-continue to descend for the next four years in the same way it's been doing since the interim government was installed last year. And after all, the UIA's decision to replace Jafari with al-Adeeb or al-Maliki is a solution designed for preserving the brittle unity of the UIA and not for the creation of a unity government because they know very well that the rest of blocs were hoping to see Abdul Mahdi replace Jafari and maybe the UIA is twisting arms with this new nomination and betting on splitting the lines of the anti-Jafari mass thinking those would not be willing to prolong the deadlock by refusing the new candidates.

Will we see a surprise in tomorrow's session? Will the deadlock remain? Could it be that the Kurds, Sunni and secular blocs are just trying to trick the UIA into approving a presidency council and get the dispute to the parliament to overthrow the UIA's candidate(s) and force their own candidate?
This is what we'll find out tomorrow.

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