Thursday, March 03, 2011

Power-Sharing Deal Falling Apart?

This is disturbing:

BAGHDAD (AFP) – Iyad Allawi, leader of the bloc that won the most seats in Iraq's 2010 elections, said on Wednesday that he will not chair a supervisory body that he was to have headed as part of a power-sharing deal.
The National Council on Strategic Policies was to be created as a sop to Allawi when rival Nuri al-Maliki was nominated to a second term as prime minister in November, and was intended to constrain Maliki's powers by providing a body for other politicians to make decisions on major issues.

It has yet to be established, though, as a law required to bring it into existence has not been passed.

"I will not participate in the national council," the former premier said in an interview with the Al-Rasheed satellite television channel to be broadcast later on Wednesday. Key quotes were provided beforehand to AFP.

"This is a final decision, and Iraqiya can choose another person instead of me," he said, referring to his Iraqiya bloc which won 91 seats in the 325-member parliament, two more than Maliki's State of Law coalition. Allawi attributed his decision to "the lack of implementation of the national partnership agreement."

And not even a day later...

Now Allawi is not naive. He knows very well that a) the Kurds will stick with Maliki with whom they have a strategic deal. He has so far given them what they wanted, including the right to resume oil exports, and b) the Sadrists and ISCI--even if they ally with him--will not allow him to become Prime Minister, as we saw during 9 months of negotiations. So whay is he doing this?
Ayad Allawi traveled to Najaf on Thursday for talks with Moqtada Al-Sadr. At a joint press conference with Sadr, Allawi announced that Iraqiya seeks to build better ties with the Sadrist movement, ISCI and the Kurdistan Alliance. “Iraqiya wants to build positive relations with all blocs and political movements in the country, particularly with the Sadrist movement.”
Note that yesterday, the Sadrists alluded to the possibility of forging a new majority coalition with Allawi, ISCI and the Kurds. In my opinion, this call is simply another example of Sadr's disruptive attitude.