This blog post was published on October 29 2010. §
How to exclude the Sunnis? Maliki’s path to the Prime Minister office
Current development on the Kurdistan Alliance-Iraqiya List pushed Maliki to postpone his interview with the official Iraqi TV two days giving the incumbent Prime Minister the time to adjust his words, according to the failure of Allawi and Adil Abdul-Mahdi negotiations with the Kurdistan Alliance, which came as a relief for the “Sadrists”, and the “State of Law” leader Al-Maliki.
According to the last information, and after the last meeting held between Barzani and Talabani, Kurdish leaders had decided their final position in favor of Al-Maliki.
External and internal reasons behind the Kurdistan Alliance decision:
Maliki was able to persuade the Kurds to resolve the differences between Baghdad and Irbil, while Al-Iraqiya’s negotiation with the Kurdistan Alliance focused on its weight in the disputed areas, which was seen by the Kurds as a black mail.
Also, lets not forget that Maliki’s approval by the Kurds followed a telephone call made by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad with Iraqi President Jalal Talabani. Add to this the statement released by the Iranian Ambassador in Baghdad saying that his country will withdraw its claim of Iraq-Iran war compensation.
Another factor that forced Maliki to give more concessions to the Kurds to speed up the formation of the Government:
Maliki sees the release Wikileaks documents and his connection to “Death Squads”, as a plot played by foreign and regional countries, to send the Prime Minister to sit on the same chair where the former Yugoslavian president, “Slobodan Milosevic” sat in the Hague (see: Arab League urges justice on Wikileaks revelations)
Personally, I expect that Maliki will be more close to Iran than ever, since this is his only chance to save himself from the “big American stick”.
Maliki will need to tighten his grip in the coming days, especially if the Parliament approve Maliki’s bid for the Prime Minister office. The Army Command announced two days ago that it will start a military maneuvers across the country to raise their efficiency and their preparations (see, the two military maneuvers in Najaf and Basra this week), and I bet the maneuvers in Baghdad may coincident with the parliamentary session.
According Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Rai former US Ambassador Ryan Crocker expressed his concern in a recent speech in the US about Maliki’s attempt to established his own Command and Control unite, not through the Chief of Staff of the Army or Secretary of Defense. Crocker warned that this will lead to military coup.
How to deal with Al-Iraqiya?
“State of Law” member, Khalid Al-Asadi said:
National Alliance is expecting from Al-Iraqiya to present a candidate for the Parliament presidency, but if he insisted not to participate we will look for an alternative (Sunni) bloc.
Notice that in Al-Asadi interview, he repeatedly said: The 25 points Kudistan Alliance demands and not the known 19 Kurds demands. This is because Maliki “donated” extra 6 points to the Kurdish list of demands.
“State of Law” and its allies discussed the reactions of Al-Iraqiya after being confined and isolated in the (Sunni) corner:
Al-Iraqiya to boycott the government — This will be a golden chance for the opportunists in Al-Iraqiya List to declare their split on the ground that the List boycotted the political process, and they don’t want to repeat the 2004 election mistake.
Those who split from Al-Iraqiya later will join “Maliki-friendly” Sunni bloc Al-Tawafiq. Later a one of the members of the “newly formed” Sunni bloc will head the Parliament.
Makes you wonder: Why the “Round-Table” meeting, and all this political circus”.
The final nail in Al-Iraqiya coffin, is what revealed by the “State of Law” member Hassan Al-Sunaid saying:
The single point of dispute with the Kurdistan Alliance was the the resignation of the government if the Kurds ministers withdraw, but we found a solution; to go to the Federal Court.