*** " Evict Maliki " Countdown is 48 Days until the SCHEDULED Election ***
Chattels ~ *** NOTE that the countdown notice has been amended to qualify the Election as " Scheduled " to give emphasis to the tenuous state of political / constitutional affairs in Iraq in recent days and specifically the mention in the news of a possible delay in the election due to the Anbar diaspora.
What is Sistani's position on the Iraqi elections
The prominent and key role played by Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani in formulating the general framework of the Iraqi regime after 2003 is no secret. He insisted that Iraqis write the constitution, demanded that the state hire people by democratic mechanisms and insisted on holding elections as soon as possible.
Sistani also played a prominent role in shaping the general political landscape in Iraq in the last 10 years. He contributed to forming the Iraqi National Alliance (INA), which gathered the Shiite voice within a unified political framework but without taking the side of one sect against another. Sistani also helped overcome the obstacles in the internal relations among the INA’s components and also in its relations with other electoral lists. This led other political components to directly or indirectly communicate with him to get help in resolving the problems with their competitors, in particular the INA.
However, since the 2010 elections, Sistani started feeling that Iraqi politicians are generally incompetent and are taking advantage of his religious and social support, rather than positively investing in it to develop the general Iraqi situation.
Sistani has repeatedly said that he aspires an advanced civil state that is in line with the general religious situation in the country, and no more than that. Yet, politicians from religious parties have made no significant efforts toward development, and tended toward forming a hard-line religious state.
Thus, Sistani went from being a supporter of the political system to a critic who aspires to bridge the gaps and fix the damage caused by politicians. He did not support any electoral list in 2010 and stayed neutral toward all lists and electoral blocs, which led to delaying the government formation for eight months.
Sistani supported popular calls to raise the level of services and improve government performance. When he did not get a positive response from the government to those demands, he closed his door to the blocs participating in the government to express his displeasure. His official representatives kept criticizing the government’s performance in their religious and social speeches and statements.
Recently, parliamentary blocs insisted on retaining their privileges contrary to the demands of the people and the religious authority.
That has angered Sistani in a way unseen before. So he issued a fatwa calling on voters to choose wisely to not regret their choice later, and said that they should distinguish the good from the bad, and differentiate between those who work to serve the people and fight corruption and those who work to benefit themselves and who they represent. He also urged everyone to actively and consciously participate in the upcoming elections, scheduled for April 30.
Al-Monitor has learned from sources close to Sistani’s office that the office has ordered Sistani’s agents to maintain equal distance from all parliamentary blocs, while calling on the people to not vote for anyone involved in corruption or anyone who has failed in the previous stage, without mentioning any names. Sistani also indirectly advised the leaders of electoral blocs to nominate new and competent figures to regain the people’s trust.
In a significant development in the relations between the government and Sistani, the cabinet voted on the Jaafari personal status bill, despite Sistani’s opposition to the bill and the insults directed at him by some religious parties’ leaders because of his position.
It seems that the religious parties are trying to withdraw their support of Sistani after they used him to attain power. Also, it seems that there are new political alliances, whereby the Islamic Dawa Party, the main member in the ruling State of Law Coalition, has learned that it would be very difficult to get the support of the major Shiite forces like it did before. So there is a trend toward small blocs and blocs that broke away from larger blocs that adhere to Shiite "chauvinist" ideologies such as the Virtue Party, the party behind the Jaafari personal status law; Ahlul Haq, the radical group that broke away from the Sadrists; and the Badr Organization, which is directly backed by Iran.
It thus appears that Sistani feels that he made a mistake by supporting Islamist parties and is now trying to preserve the independence of the religious establishment by staying clear of "dirty politics," and by correcting the political course in the country without getting involved in supporting a specific group that may repeat its predecessors’ mistakes.
Observers of Sistani’s positions over the past 10 years may conclude that he embodies a unique role in the history of political-religious ties. He performs his social role, which is widely authoritative in Iraqi society, by influencing its popular base and by directing it to make the right decision. But at the same time, he seeks to avoid directly or indirectly interfering in the country’s political system.
The actions of the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) during the last three months indicate, without any doubt, that it is not preoccupied with the battles in Anbar province as much as it is concerned with expanding the scope of its influence to other territories.
Data supporting this conclusion on the Iraqi map of events is evidenced by ISIS stepping up its presence around Baghdad over the last few months. This began with its takeover of the town of Sulaiman Beik (in the north) to its attempted takeover of the towns of Azim and Saadieh in Diyala province, when it headed south toward the Nahrawan region, all the way to Babil and the towns of Jurf al-Sakhr and Museib, with the circle completing itself in areas west of Baghdad such as Radwaniyeh, Abu Ghraib and down to Fallujah. The latter is connected to the arc through cities north of Baghdad such as Tarmia, Dlouiyeh, Samarra and toward the Hamrin mountains on the outskirts of which lies the town of Sulaiman Beik.
This wide circle of ISIS militants around Baghdad as well as their undisputed presence in Mosul indicates that the organization is not depleting its forces in the fight for Fallujah, but, on the contrary, is trying to produce many new “Fallujahs” along this arc that encircles Baghdad.
In this regard, Iraqi security sources seem aware of al-Qaeda’s movements, and have told Al-Monitor that security and military formations are positioned along a concentric arc surrounding the capital.
But this deployment does not seem to only be associated with ISIS’ decisions, since the organization’s chances of creating insecure and volatile environments outside the authority of the state are not great, unless those areas, as in Fallujah, are the scene of clan turmoil or protests.
In other words, ISIS is encouraging Sunni areas along this arc around Baghdad to expound on the Fallujah experience, with the organization taking a backseat to clan gunmen who would lead the protests.
This strategy seems completely different from al-Qaeda’s typical modus operandi, according to which the organization usually attempts to impose its philosophies and use its presence to propagate its brand of the “Islamic state.” Therefore, ISIS relinquishing its leadership role in Fallujah and its decision to dispatch other factions to conduct similar operations in Kirkuk, Diyala, Salahuddin and north Babylon confirms the fact that the organization now is cognizant — more than at any other time — of the social and religious makeup of Sunni regions. It is thus trying to avoid provoking them; attempting instead to exploit them for its benefit as long as doing so falls in line with its ultimate objectives.
Going back to the political roots of the crisis in Sunni areas in general, including Anbar, we find that the widening chasm between the state and inhabitants of Sunni regions afforded ISIS an added advantage. Namely, it gave the organization an ability to agree with the clans and inhabitants on a mutual goal, even if the actual differences between Sunni clans and ISIS were greater than those clans’ disagreements with the government.
The organization’s ability to export the common goal around which demonstrations were held throughout 2013, and its ability to deepen the Sunni sense of marginalization and exclusion — or even to use the Fallujah events as proof that the clans could, if they wanted, lead a wide-scale uprising that government forces would be powerless to confront — are all palpable factors for ISIS’ expansion on the ground, and its quiet permeation through Sunni areas that, in principle, reject the organization.
This is where the role of the state and the political roots of the crisis come into play. Dealing with the developments only in Sunni areas, and the assumption that the battle is confined to Anbar province, is a strategic blunder that the government might make. Addressing the Anbar crisis, through reaching understandings with the clans, will not assuage the grievances of other areas and ISIS’ exploitation of those grievances, leading to conflagrations similar to the one in Fallujah.
The situation is more complex in Fallujah. The first resolution to the crisis there must start with bringing down the bridges that ISIS has worked to build with the inhabitants, particularly in remote villages and among those adversely affected by the behavior of security forces.
Demolishing those bridges must begin with a strategy predicated on the existence of a state, and not one arising from the existence of a particular government. The state strategy would thus entail the latter redefining its relationship with local inhabitants, regardless of affiliation. And any political, economic, security or social avenues toward that end will pave the way to a permanent solution. SOURCE
The Kurdistan Region Government (KRG) spokesperson, Safeen Dizayee told BasNews that the US has been in talks with Baghdad, urging the Iraqi government to solve the outstanding problems it has with the KRG via negotiations.
“Washington was in contact with Baghdad regarding the Kurdish budget,” said Dizayee.
Dizayee pointed out that Washington has been in contact with the federal government of Iraq in order to further their negotiation withe the KRG to reach an agreement and solve the problems that lay between both sides.
Recently, the federal government of Iraq decided to send the KRG’s staff salaries for February, but not for March. SOURCE
Deputy: the first reading of the federal budget will be next Sunday
Fri Mar 14 2014 12:21 | (Voice of Iraq)
Alsumaria News / Baghdad
Confirmed the MP for the Liberal bloc Magda al-Tamimi, on Friday, the House of Representatives will read the federal budget first reading next Sunday, while expected to vote on it during the "two weeks" max.
Tamimi said in an interview for "Alsumaria News", "The first reading of the federal budget will be next Sunday, while the second will be next Tuesday," noting that "because of the expected vote on it within two weeks maximum."
The white bloc promised, on Thursday (13 March 2014), to determine the next session on Sunday to read the federal budget is an important step that everyone should support.
It is noteworthy that the parliamentary blocs failed to reach an agreement on the federal budget for the current year of 2014, which prevented the inclusion on the agenda of many of the meetings of Parliament earlier, was charged with Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, Parliament Speaker Osama Najafi deliberately non-inclusion of the budget in the context of a "conspiracy" led against the state. SOURCE
Talk | Salim Al-Wazzan | Basra |
After the cabinet's approval to grant Basra amount of $ 5 per barrel of oil popping questions about the ability of local governments to take advantage of the funds in the development of petro dollars built, master.
Basra's governor Majed Nasraoui said that "put the funds at the disposal of the local government contributes to the achievement of strategic projects that have contracted with the international companies for the advancement of the city service."
While stressing assistant governor for economic affairs, Muhannad Al-Saad on the local government has contracted with the company "Are Inter Enchenl" to oversee the projects and the training of cadres in order to reduce the size of administrative corruption and financial "There are giant projects such as building the city medical and other industrial and media will be forwarded to the foreign companies a giant addition to the suspension bridge over the Shatt al-Arab and the establishment of a large water station for electric power generation. "
Saad and reviewed the strategic plans which include infrastructure projects and social advances, such as providing for citizens and increase the ration card items as well as the referral of the draft 1500 budget on the laggard of 2014.
According to sources in the province of Basra, the budget for 2014 will amount to ten billion dollars, including funds retained.
The total oil exports from Basra, more than two million and two hundred and fifty barrels per day, while the associated gas produced by bringing (3386.20) million cubic meters, and the law provides that the rate of 21 per 150 cubic meters of gas gives five dollars to maintain producer.
However, the conservative often complained of obstacles set by the central government, including the freezing of the amended Act 21, which gives wide powers to the provinces is not affiliated with the territory.
Ali Kanaan official political relations in the Islamic Supreme Council, which belongs to the conservative "governor faces obstacles both from the Government Center or other trends in the provincial council and the central government-linked Some do not want to see the governor is successful in his work."
And about the ability of local government to get rid of the legacy of corruption and projects lagging "There are some local companies influential in the government of the center or its affiliates benefited strongly during the last term but business strategy portfolios are summarized based on the companies discreet and international where assigned the task of supervising and planning for foreign companies adopt scientific methods ".
Abbas says Jurani a political activist, "because of the political quota system will not see a radical change in the conflicts to obtain contracts for the projects are taking a political side, in fact, the interests of the conflicts I do not think that any of these centers will give up its interests where it has become an important foothold in the management of the province."
"The amended law will be applied in the event of a group of municipalities and ministries, including trade, education, housing and transferred its powers to the provinces, giving her more flexibility."
Facing local government in Basra, like other other governments in other cities routine imposed by the ministries of finance and planning, most of the proposed projects pass through the committees these two ministries and delayed sometimes more than six months to gain ratification, however exchange budget belatedly perhaps in April or beyond unable to exchange their money for the provinces during the last six months of the year.
In this regard, Dr. Adnan Farhan Basra spent about 17 per cent of their allocations in the last year and the reason lies in the obstacles placed by central government ministries.
Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki support the amended law in the earlier period, but the provincial elections produced a new political map pushed things to the crisis. Ali Kanaan and see that the law has been amended 21 disabled after five provinces out of the control of the rule of law and said, "Turn the Prime Minister to freeze the law to reduce the powers of the provinces and linking them to the center.
Experts predict that the dominance of the center and the survival of many of the old laws will not free the Iraqi economy, no work of local governments, which suffer from lack of Vdrtha on the implementation of projects creates a wide area of the arms of the administrative and financial corruption.
Parliament uses approaching regulatory threats toward al-Maliki and waiting for "the minutes of unanimity"
Thu Mar 13 2014 21:38 | (Voice of Iraq)
An official source in the Iraqi Council of Representatives Thursday by the Council approached the regulators about the threats, Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki proceed regardless budget without legal basis and the legislation before the law.
The source said in an interview with "Twilight News" that "the House of Representatives Light presidency as a public prosecutor responsible for the protection of public funds as the Board has approached the Board of Supreme Audit as a group on the legality of the procedures of exchange" financial.
He pointed out that he has approached "the Integrity Commission as competent to prosecute cases of financial and administrative corruption in the opening lines of which the disbursement of state funds without legal basis to monitor each of these authorities the government's actions regarding the disbursement contrary to the constitution."
He continued, "The era of absolute governments that operate outside the scope of the Constitution and any government pass the borders of the Constitution and the law Vstqom responsibility and be a rogue and accounting due in state institutions."
The source pointed out that the House of Representatives "will not hesitate representative of the people and the government censor for vomiting all means to win for the principle of legality and the rule of law and the Constitution."
He added that "despite the fact that the statement of the Prime Minister on March 5, he had pointed out to get a consensus in the Council of Ministers to initiate disbursement of funds without waiting for the budget law."
The source went on saying: "However, the decisions of the Council of Ministers adopted at the meeting of March 4 and published by the General Secretariat of the Council of Ministers on its official website that recommendation did not include the alleged".
He said that up paying the House Overture, "the Council of Ministers to provide him with the approval of the minutes of the Council of Ministers unanimously to exchange the House of Representatives did not receive an answer from the government so far."
Allawi is expected unfair elections: voter card bubble
Thu Mar 13 2014 20:05 | (Voice of Iraq)
Questioned the head of the National Bloc Iyad Allawi Thursday integrity of the upcoming parliamentary elections becauseof what he said that the United Nations will have a role as before, describing the electronic voter's card as mere "bubble" is not only.
The elections scheduled for next April 30 is the first to use the electronic voter's card to give more transparency to the process, according to the Electoral Commission.
It contains a card that can not be voters to cast their ballots without them information about the name of the voter and the electoral center to be made by his voice.
Allawi said "Twilight News" that "we like bubbles out a voter's card, which are bought and sold."
The Electoral Commission and regulators and political has spotted in recent weeks cases of sale of electronic voter card, especially in the province of Kirkuk.
But it is unclear precisely how you will be able to purchase those cards from which to exploit and vote in its favor.
Allawi added that "the next election will not be fair and will not reflect the view of the Iraqi people because the UN has no role in the election commission as before."
He said Allawi, who leads the list of US-backed Iraqi Sunnis that "appointments to the Commission carried out by hand, and one," in reference to what seems to be a coalition of rival Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki.
And accept elections under extremely difficult conditions in Iraq, where sectarian and political divisions as well as the ongoing military operations in Anbar since the beginning of this year.
And pushed the fighting between Iraqi forces and government opponents, including al Qaeda-inspired militants to escape tens of thousands of residents of the cities of Fallujah and Ramadi in Anbar to the two main provinces safer.
Allawi said that the displaced will not be able to vote in the elections.
Hungarian company announces the start of oil production from a new field in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq
Thu Mar 13 2014 19:34 | (Voice of Iraq)
Long-Presse / Baghdad
Hungarian company announced, on Thursday, conducted for the production of crude oil from the field Bigil which is run in a patch Akre Bigil oil in the Kurdistan region of Iraq, the presence of unexpected reserves "much larger" than previously disclosed in the site.
The company said oil and gas Hungarian MOL Mall, in a statement, today, reported by Reuters, and seen it (the long-Presse), she "began production of crude oil from the field Bigil which is run in a patch Akre Bigil oil in the Kurdistan region of Iraq," noting that " Recent estimates revealed by the other partner company Gulf Keystone Gulf Keystone about the possible reserve quantities of oil in the oil patch Akre Bigil, was very conservative and did not reveal where the real reserve. "
Reuters reported that the company MOL owns 20 percent of the shares of the oil patch Shikhan operated by Keystone and 80 percent of the shares of a patch Akre Bigil where the field is located Bigil. "
She Mall in a statement, that "estimates of oil reserves in the area Akre Bigil announced, according to the accounts of a third party, and published by Gulf Keystone Ltd., did not include the accounts of the results of guesses positive," indicating that these "estimates much lower than the current reached by the company the operator of the oil patch, which expects the presence of much larger reserves. "
The agency, that "MOL did not disclose the amount of the expected oil reserves in the oil patch Akre Bigil."
The company Gulf Keystone, British, announced in (the ninth of January 2014), all conducted to export crude oil from the field Sheikhan in the Kurdistan region of Iraq, indicating that it had sold a shipment of between 30 and 33 thousand tons of crude oil, has been transferred to Turkey by truck in December First past 2013.
The company MOL announced (28 December 2011), of its intention to spend $ 100 million to strengthen its program for the exploration, evaluation and development of the franchise Acre - Bigil in the province of Dohuk, (460 km north of Baghdad), during the year 2012.
The Kurdistan Regional Government signed in 2007, two decades to invest in the field Acre - Bigil in Dohuk province with a group MOL and Gulf Keystone Petroleum, a subsidiary of the British company Gulf Keystone.
Najaf / Nina /--Cleric Moqtada al-Sadr returned back to the holy city of Najaf from Tehran today.
A familiar source with the Sadrist movement office in the city said : "al-Sadr returned to the homeland, coming from the Iranian capital Tehran, without giving further details.
Cleric Sadr left Najaf to Tehran after his sudden decision to retire finally from political life where he has taken several of the most important decisions such as solving Ahrar block ,the political wing of Sadrist trend . "
BGG ~ Looks like (with the recent rhetoric coming out of Iran) Sadr was the one who swayed Iran instead of the other way around (for a change)...plus - I'm sure Maliki is just as stubborn with Iran as he is with the US. A Sadr loyalist would be far more valuable to Tehran in the future.
Bitter Maliki-Nujaifi Exchanges Strain Political System
By Harith Hasan for Al-Monitor. Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.
In a deeply divided country whose main parties rely on identity politics to renew their legitimacy, electoral seasons usually constitute an opportunity for ethnic and sectarian mobilization. Political parties and leaders, which present themselves as protectors of their “communities,” increasingly tend to adopt inflexible policies and exaggerate in their confrontational stances.
This is what is happening today in the confrontation between Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and parliament Speaker Osama al-Nujaifi (pictured), and between Maliki and Iraqi Kurdistan Region President Massoud Barzani.
The matter is not restricted to the mobilization of electoral bases, but also includes attempts to set the stage for a post-election negotiation phase. The current strictness in policies stems from a feeling that there is no political value in showing flexibility and giving up pressure cards at this stage. The elections in Iraq have become a prelude for laborious negotiations aiming at distributing main positions and ranks. Each party is getting ready for this stage by gathering pressure cards against its enemies.
Nevertheless, it seems that the current escalation might go beyond electoral calculations and threaten the presence of the political system, which was established in Iraq as per the 2005 Constitution. In his weekly address on March 5, Maliki declared that he considers the parliament “finished” and lacking legitimacy. He blamed Nujaifi for “the legal and constitutional violations” that turned the parliament into an institution that “disrupts the government’s work.”
Maliki went as far as calling on MPs to boycott the parliamentary sessions as long as Nujaifi insists on not putting the budget to a vote. In the first threat of its kind, Maliki declared that he would make disbursements from the budget without waiting for the approval of the parliament. Maliki added that he had already challenged the parliament’s work before the federal court. SOURCE
What IS Diplomacy?
BECAUSE these men have NONE!!
Is there a school we could send these guys to?
Some kind of diplomacy "Etiquette" school??
SEND THEM ALL!! I will not discriminate. Just give me my RV!!! AND JUST IN CASE....... any of the above men are reading this post, HERES THE DEFINITION!!! ~ RED LILY ~