New Shiite alliance in Iraq and efforts for coalition

"At the end, the pressures of 'Tehran-Qom-Najaf" line succeeded, the bloc with 159 chairs gained the power to establish the government "for now"."

New Shiite alliance in Iraq and efforts for coalition


By Furkan Torlak / World Bulletin

When the parliamentary elections took place on March 7 in 2010 in Iraq, four alliances came forward, but none of them succeeded in having 163 chairs to establish a new government and this leaded 4 major possible outcomes:

1- Al-Iraqiyya Alliance, National Iraqi Alliance and Kurdistani Alliance may establish a new government under prime ministry of Iyad Allawi or any suggested prime minister by the al- Iraqiyya Alliance.

2- The State of Law Coalition, National Iraqi Alliance and Kurdistani Alliance may establish a new government under prime ministry of Nouri al-Maliki or any suggested prime ministers by the constitutional state alliance.

3- A government may be established with the list of Al-Iraqiyya, the State of Law Coalition and with a name that will be accepted by the Kurdistani Alliance.

4- Four alliances may come together for a coalition government.

By new developments, it can be thought that first and third possibilities are out of service. Because the State of Law Coalition of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki whose term of office is expired and National Iraqi Alliance which is under leadership of leaders like Muqtada al-Sadr, Ammar al-Hakim have came to a consensus since May 4 on establishing a bloc in the parliament without any merger. The conflict on the prime ministry post is postponed to be discussed.

In this process the State of Law Coalition threatened the National Iraqi Alliance with the third possibility mentioned and negotiated this with al-Maliki and Allawi’s delegates. On the other hand, National Iraqi Alliance threatened the State of Law Coalition with the first possibility mentioned and held meetings with Adil Abdul-Mahdi Northern Iraq contacts and Kurdistani Alliance leaders.

At the end, the pressure of ‘Tehran-Qom-Najaf” line succeeded. The bloc with 159 chairs gained the power to establish the government “for now”. So, at first glimpse a forth possibility that is dominated by second and new bloc on the government establishing studies can be a subject matter.

It can be said that today’s alliance is an outcome of pressures coming from Iran and Brigadier General Qasim Soleimani from Iran revolutionary guards. The main anxiety on this merger is based on the powerful will of Shiites on not losing the political, economic and military gains. Again the fear of Baas return –its rationality is debatable- is a significant factor of Shiite politicians moves.

However, the necessity of staying as a united Iraq in this re-construction process light the way for getting support of Kurdish and Sunni to establish a government. Therefore, the possibility of establishing a government without Sunni support becomes a rare possibility while the fourth coalition possibility determined by a new bloc gain more probability which all four groups gather but with a stronger Shiite bloc.

The leading figure of Kurdish bloc Jalal Talabani expressed earlier that his bloc would support any possible allience between Constitutional State Coalition and Iraq National Coalition. There are several motives that force Kurds to support such alliance. These are; 1. The parties representing Sunnis avoid Baas Party relations. 2.The tension that occured between Kurds and Mosul's Sunni governor. 3.The power of Mosul governor in the Allawi coalition. 4. The possible reflections of Turkey's support to Allawi coalition in the future political process.

But Kurds can not reach a deal with Shi'ites without or against Sunnis in regarding the regional and global difficulties. However Kurds face some international pressures, especially from U.S., to join an Allawi coalition government. There are mediation efforts to overcome these pressures. But such attempts seem very weak to be determinative in this new picture, even if they succeed in solving the problem.

Today it seems that the possibility of prime ministry of Allawi is out of options while the Sunni parliamentary presence and their force about security on the ministry will stay protected unless any intervention takes place on the process. Nonetheless, a variety of crises can take place since negotiations for establishing a government will proceed very hard for all coalitions in the name of pleasing each other. As it is known very well, the presidency, prime ministry and parliamentary presidency are critical subject matters of negotiation in any coalition government in Iraq. Also the dominant ministries which are Interior Ministry, Foreign Ministry, Defense Ministry and Ministry of Finance are playing important roles in the discussions.

Therefore, new developments set the direction of how the government will be established and show that one round of this process is come to an end in favor of Iran which is one of the outside elements of the process. As it is known Iran denotes that it is open to candidates other than Allawi who has supports of other countries including USA in a coordination. On the other hand, following USA Turkey and Saudi Arabia also give their support to al-Iraqiyya Leader Allawi. The condition could be in this direction, if ever al-Iraqiyya could establish a common list with Kurds or the Constitutional State and if ever Shiites could be prevented from establishing a coalition.

However, even if the first round of rivalry would be completed in the outside, it won’t be enough for a new government establishment inside. There are two reasons of the failure of establishing the government until today. First of all, the election results haven’t been approved and in some regions including Baghdad the results are being re-counted. Secondly, the discussions locked on the issue of who will be the prime minister and it is still ambiguous that who shall take task.

Although Allawi’s chance of becoming prime minister is weakened, al-Maliki’s chance to become Prime Minister is also not definite. Maliki's rivals in the new block are –especially- Ibrahim Jaafari who has the Sadr’s group’s support, and Adil Abdul-Mahdi who has the support of Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq. Oil Minister Hussein al-Shahristani or the son of Grand Ayatollah Mohammad Baqir al-Sadr, Jafar al-Sadr can be the candidates that is reached consensus upon. However, Al-Shahristani can be uneasy at the point of the Kurds and it’s also a weak possibility for U.S. and regional system to work with Jafar.

In a situation of determination and application of a government program according to the common demands, the most reasonable chance in terms of regional and global balances for al-Maliki to sit down the same chair again. It can be said that his allies could be useful at the point of integration a new government with the global system. So, it would be possible for Iraq to protect itself from regional and global influence.

Because Nouri al-Maliki is neither man of U.S. nor Iran nor the other countries in the region, his relation is very clear with Syria where he lived in the opposition days. He showed that he can be against every fraction, in Basra, Anbar, Kirkuk and Mosul when the matter is the national interests. Indeed, Nouri al-Maliki is the only Alliance leader that didn’t run towards the neighbor countries to demand support in establishing a new government.

Last Mod: 11 Mayıs 2010, 08:22
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