It is EVICT MALIKI DAY + FORTY EIGHT ( 48 ) or " E - M DAY + 48 "
PREVIOUSLY AND CONTINUING
"..... despite the superiority of Maliki’s electoral coalition, the competing Shiite forces, the Kurds and the Sunnis, are together able to form a comfortable majority to prevent Maliki from remaining in office. "...................... Maliki likely fears that if he rushes to do business with parties outside the Shiite alliance, his Shiite rivals would do the same and that they may have a better chance to win over the Kurdish and Sunni forces, because there is a general consensus among them to not keep Maliki in power.
At the same time, the rest of the Shiite groups fear that this consensus is not solid enough to withstand discussing the details, and that going alone to the Kurdish and Sunni forces may put them in a weak bargaining position and make them appear responsible for breaking Shiite unity.
An important factor here are the choices that the Sunni and Kurdish forces will make. If the Sunnis and Kurds rush to form ethnic and sectarian alliances, then the Shiite alliance may do the same.
Some are proposing scenarios such as replacing Maliki with another figure from the State of Law Coalition as a compromise to ensure the continuation of the Shiite alliance. Yet, such a solution may come at a later stage, after the favored options by most parties have been exhausted. What is certain now is that a harsh negotiating season will begin as the conflict moves from its electoral aspect into the closed negotiating rooms and deals among the elite. - - from al Monitor
Generally, all are " waiting for the National Alliance to name its candidate, formally , to start negotiate with him. "
Sunday, June 15th, 2014 20:58
Legal: forming the next government will not take more than two months
BAGHDAD / Baghdadi News / .. saw legal analyst, on Sunday that once the Federal Court approval on the results of the parliamentary elections will form the next government, expected to be formed within two months.
He said legal analyst Tariq Harb said in an interview with / Baghdadi News /, that "the formation of the next government will not take more than two months," adding, that "everyone is awaiting the approval of the Federal Court on the results of the elections, which will be announced during the next two days." He added, "The first session of the House of Representatives will be the end of June or the first of next July," noting, that it is "as soon as the issuance of a presidential decree on the Vice President of the Republic calls its new deputies to hold a meeting in the House of Representatives." He continued, the war that "the real political movement will begin after the swearing in of constitutional Algesh first to the House of Representatives," adding, "The election of the Speaker of the House and the President of the Republic in the second session of the House of Representatives."
He noted, that "the person's choice of prime minister will be the largest parliamentary bloc in the number of seats in the House of Representatives, which will select the president."
He explained, legal analyst said that "as soon as the formation of the Council of Ministers and presented to the House of Representatives to give him confidence're not finished forming all sections of the government," and he predicted that "the current circumstances faced by the government is not Kalzerov they were in the parliamentary elections of 2010."
The previous parliamentary elections which were held on 7 / March 2010 to form her government took more than eight months until 17 / November 2010.
AIN reveals names of four MPs behind delay of Federal Court's approval for elections results
Monday, 16 June 2014 11:22
Baghdad (AIN) –The Supreme Judicial Council revealed that the approval of the election results is delayed due to four MPs.
The spokesperson of the judicial authority, Abdul Sattar al-Biraqdar, stated to AIN "MPs, Abaas Mitaiwi, Raad al-Dahlaki, Saleem al-Jouburi, and Omer al-Humairi, are behind the delay of the approval of the elections results due to some judicial claims against them."
The Iraqi Supreme Court Certifies the 30 April General Election Result
Posted by Reidar Visser on Monday, 16 June 2014 19:54
It’s official: The provisional result of Iraq’s 30 April general election, published last month, has been certified by the federal supreme court.
In the IHEC statement to this effect, there is a caveat. 4 seat winners have not been approved, and won’t be approved until they have been cleared of charges relating to serious crime cases against them. Pending settlement of the court cases, their membership in parliament will remain pending, and no replacement deputies will be appointed. Whereas this may sound somewhat messy, it is actually what happened also in 2010, when 2 seat winners were provisionally excluded. Back then, it took longer for parliament to reconvene than for the judicial authorities to settle one of the cases (and one candidate was voluntarily substituted by another candidate from his bloc), so no procedural problems emerged.
With the general political climate in Iraq approaching boiling point, questions will inevitably pertain to the political affiliations of those 4 that were excluded. 3 of them come from a single list, the Sunni, pro-Nujayfi list that ran in Diyala province: Salim al-Jibburi, Raad al-Dahlaki and Umar al-Humayri. They have all been in various forms of conflict with Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, and Jibburi (once an Iraqi Islamic Party member who cooperated with the first Maliki government) and Humayri (ex governor of Diyala ousted by Maliki allies) most bitterly so.
Still, before running to conclusions about another politicized court decision in Iraq, consider the fourth excluded candidate: Abbas Jabir al-Khuzaie, a seat winner in Qadisiyya province for Maliki’s own State of Law list. Khuzaie is a local politician from the Qadisiyya council who was once with the secular Iraqiyya before defecting to State of Law in 2011. He was then with the Independents bloc of Hussein al-Shahristani and may still be a member of that bloc subunit. Still, despite ongoing internal rivalry in State of Law, it seems unlikely that Maliki would fabricate an exclusion from his own rank in a situation where the loyalty of every new single Iraqi deputy is meticulously being monitored in the contest to form the biggest parliament bloc and supply the next premier candidate.
The certification of the election result opens the door for government formation: The Iraqi president (or his acting deputy) must issue a call for the Iraqi parliament to convene within 15 days, i.e. at the end of June. Theoretically, parliament will then elect its speaker, and, within a month, a new president who will then charge the candidate of the largest bloc in parliament to form a government.
For Iraqi politicians, despite the current crisis, the parliamentary government formation process is likely to remain the main political track going forward. It is a problem, therefore, that much US rhetoric on conditions for aid to the Iraqi government seem focused on ideas about some sort of national reconciliation initiative that would precede the delivery of further assistance. It is very hard to see how that would fit in with the Iraqi government formation logic. Whereas there has been much talk among Americans about imposing conditionality on future military assistance in Iraq, US rhetoric has been disconcertingly void of specific proposals for measures that would satisfy them. On the other hand, there is no lack of American suggestions for favourite cabinet line-ups that could be imposed, possibly even with Iranian support. Some of this thinking seems to belong to the era of the CPA in 2003–04, rather than in today’s situation.
Meanwhile, ISIS continues its savagery, the Kurds consolidate their quasi-independence, and Maliki for once actually has an excuse for drumming up state-of-emergency rhetoric.
Maliki's coalition and the Kurdistan does not expect the formation of a new government soon, and the latter rejects the "National Salvation"
Tue Jun 17 2014 23:19 | (Voice of Iraq)
ong-Presse / Baghdad
Ruled out a coalition of state law and the Kurdistan Alliance, on Tuesday, to be able to political blocs to agree on forming a new government through the constitutional deadline to hold the first session of the elected parliament, while attributed first to preoccupation with the crisis of the current security, announced the second "non-support" for the government of "national salvation ".
Maliki's coalition: the security crisis will delay the formation of new government
And saw a coalition of state law, which is headed by Nuri al-Maliki, that the political blocs "will not agree" on the formation of the new government through constitutional deadline to hold the first session of the elected parliament to concern the current security crisis.
He ruled out an alliance member, Mohammed Chihod, in an interview to the (long-Presse), that "you can political blocs agree to form a new government within a period of 15 days set for the holding of the first session of parliament-elect," attributing it to "busy all the security file and fighter Daash especially after Fatwa religious authority Ulkipaúa jihad. "
He predicted Chihod, that "witnessing the next phase address people and national working for the interest of Iraq," pointing out that "the president of a coalition of state law, Nuri al-Maliki, had announced before the crisis, the current security, collecting 175 votes to form a new government, and that the dialogues were in full swing to discuss the matter, but now that things have changed because of the complexity of the security landscape. "
The Constitution requires the President to invite new parliament to convene within 15 days of the ratification of the election results, with the possibility to extend this invitation for once.
Article 55 of the Iraqi Constitution, that "the House of Representatives shall be elected at the first session its president, then a first deputy and second deputy, by an absolute majority of the Council members by direct secret ballot."
In addition, Article (70 / I) of the Constitution, that "elected by the House of Representatives from among the candidates President of the Republic, by a majority of two-thirds of its members, and if none of the candidates received the required majority, the rivalry between the two candidates who obtained the highest number of votes, and declared president of the gets a majority of votes in the second ballot. "
Kurdistan Alliance: do not support the government of national salvation
In turn, the Kurdistan Alliance, "did not support" calls on the formation of a government of national salvation, preferring to be done according to the Constitution.
The MP said the pro-Tayeb said in an interview to the (long-Presse), "The formation of the new government will have to wait for more than 15 months ( sic ? days ) ," noting that there are "several opinions on the form the next government, and whether to save the national or under the Constitution."
The good, that "Iraq is a democratic country has a constitution that explains the mechanism of forming the government, during a meeting of Parliament within a period of 15 days from the approval of the results of the elections to elect a president and two vice presidents as well as the President of the Republic by the political blocs."
The MP from the Kurdistan Alliance, that "the Coalition supports the formation of a government under the Constitution and not a government of national salvation, of the difficulty of forming the last, and the lack of a mechanism thereon or handled," stressing the need to "accelerate the negotiations to form a government."
The parties to many political consistently during the last term, to call for the formation of a government "of national salvation", or "national consensus" to pull the country out of crisis (political and security) present, in the belief that the head of the government expired, Nuri al-Maliki, "no longer fit" to continue in his duties and take over a third time, and the most prominent of those parties, leader of the National Coalition, Iyad Allawi.
The Federal Supreme Court, ratified, on Monday, (the 16th of June 2014 the current) on the results of the parliamentary elections that took place in (the thirtieth of April 2014).
The representative of the religious authority in Karbala, Abdul Mahdi al-Karbalai, called last Friday (13 June Current), who are able to take up arms to volunteer in the war against terrorism, returned it as "holy war", and confirmed that it is to be killed in this war is a "martyr , "and called on the armed forces to the courage and tenacity, and demanded political leaders to leave their differences and unify their position to assign the armed forces.
The organization Daash may impose its control over the northern city of Mosul, the center of the province of Nineveh, (405 km north of Baghdad), Tuesday (tenth of June 2014), and seized the security headquarters where the airport, and released hundreds of detainees, which led to he married hundreds thousands of families to the city and neighboring areas of the Kurdistan region, also extended Activity Daash, today, to the provinces of Salahuddin, Kirkuk and Diyala.
62184 The political conflicts are the cause of the deterioration
The political conflicts are the cause of the deterioration
BAGHDAD / NINA / The MP, of the Kurdistan Alliance, Ashwaq al-Jaf confirmed that "the conflicts between political blocs is the main reason for the deterioration of the security and political situation in the country."
She said in a statement to the National Iraqi News Agency / NINA /: "This conflict has opened the way for terrorist groups to exploit the situation and occupy parts of Iraq entirely ", describing this occupation a major disaster. "
She pointed out that "the best solution to this disaster is to organize the Iraqi house and collect the Iraqi politicians and start a new era based on a true national partnership in running the country and decision-making."
She added: "It is unlikely to solve the security problem quickly if former political approach continues as it is."
62185 Q & A with General David Petraeus's former executive officer
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Iraq crisis: Q & A with General David Petraeus's former executive officer
Peter R. Mansoor, former executive officer to General David Petraeus, calls for creation of a federal region for Sunni areas of Iraq
By Peter Foster , Washington
6:00 AM BST 18 Jun 2014
Is Obama right to resist calls from some in the West and the Maliki government to order air strikes against Isis?
What President Obama said on the South Lawn is exactly right. There is zero chance of Isis taking Baghdad. It is a city that swallows up armies. I was a brigade combat team commander in 2003-2004 and I had more than 3,500 combat soldiers and I had trouble keeping a lid on just two districts, much less the entire city.
This is what Isis would face if they got to Baghdad. They would face the Iraqi army, which would fight much harder if Isis got the capital, but they'd have tens of thousands of Shia militia men facing off against them as well.
There is plenty of time to get the policy and politics right before we do some knee-jerk reaction and engage and then do more harm than good.
The president on Friday had it right. We cannot allow a terrorist state to permanently stand. What he left unsaid was that it's not something we have to deal with in a matter of days or weeks. It's incumbent on Iraqi political elites to form a national government that is more representative of interests of all Iraqi people.
Isn't that wishful thinking? Aren't Sunni-Shia-Kurd ethnic and geographical dividing lines hardening as we speak?
No. I don't think so. That's misreading the situation. If you listen to the [Sunni] Grand Mufti, he calls on Maliki to step down because he's been a divisive sectarian figure. He calls for a new government of national unity in which all sects and ethnic groups have a stake. And he said the prime minister should be a Shia. That doesn't sound to me like a sectarian call to arms.
It sounds to me like what the Sunnis want is what we offered them after the 'surge', which is a stake in the political future of Iraq. Unfortunately ever since the withdrawal of American forces at the end of 2011 Maliki has appealed to his basest sectarian instincts and alienated the Sunnis by attacking their political leaders, their elites and their protest camps and not including them in the government in any meaningful way.
Isis has hundreds, perhaps low thousands of foreign fighters, but part of Isis is officers from the old Iraqi army and a lot of the Iraqi tribes who are fed up with Maliki. And as in 2007 and 2008 the tribes in northern and western Iraq are really the key to the situation. I believe what we need to do is to encourage the Iraqi political elites to form a government of national unity and then you work with the tribes and moderate elements in Isis to become part of the Iraqi state. And then it becomes like it was during the surge - everyone gangs up against the al-Qaeda types.
I don't think the majority of Sunni residents of Iraq want to live under a Jihadist state. This is a marriage of convenience that will fall apart at the first opportunity.
As Iran and the US prepare to talk, how do we square Western calls for a more broadly representative government with Iran's desire to have a Shia-dominated Iraqi government?
The Iranians clearly want a Shia-dominated government, but they also want a stable, albeit pliable state on their border. I'm not sure that Maliki is Iran's man. Backing Maliki is a recipe for eternal civil war and I think the Iranians might come round to realising that, if they don't realise it already.
I'm hopeful that US and Iran could agree on a way ahead politically for Iraq; one that the Iraqis and Iranians and the US and the Turks can live with as well.
After the events of recent days, is it still possible to build a functioning Iraq?
Part of the solution is the creation of a federal region of the Sunni areas of Iraq and give them a degree of self-government such as the Kurdish region enjoys. As long as the government in Baghdad still controls foreign policy and defence and the interior ministry controls security matters, it would not be the beginning of 'Balkanisation' of Iraq.
What it would do is to give the Sunni's a budget of their own and a way to enjoy some of the oil wealth Iraq generates, rather than waiting for handouts from Baghdad. The alternative is a civil war with no end in sight and we can do better. The diplomatic community can do better, and so can the Iraqi political elites.
Is there a scenario in which armed intervention be helpful in Iraq?
Air strikes would not be helpful in the current situation, because we would simply be seen as supporting Maliki and then it would become a Sunni-Shia war. It would be helpful if you could get a government of national unity that was broadly representative of the Iraqi people, then certainly we could help them roll back Isis gains, but at that point you'd get a lot of buy-in from the Sunni tribes.
62187 United: the formation of the government conditional on a comprehensive solution
United: the formation of the government conditional on a comprehensive solution to the Iraqi crisis
Personalities and bodies: Dhafer al-Ani
Baghdad (Iraq) / Future News:
Announced the official spokesman of the coalition are united for reform, Dr. Zafer al-Ani said the coalition is required to solve the Iraqi crisis to fully discuss the elections to form a government guarantor of the unity of Iraq and the safety of his children.
Ani said in a press statement yesterday (Tuesday June 17, 2014) It is with the approval of the results of the parliamentary elections and the beginning of the dialogue on the elections and the formation of the next government, the viewpoint list united built on to be dialogues conditional on the government's ability to come to a comprehensive solution to the Iraqi crisis in all its details and able to ensure the unity of Iraq and to preserve the integrity of his sons and satisfy all Iraqi factions without exception or exclusion or marginalization.
He said al-Ani, the requirements set by the coalition united to start dialogues seriousness to form the next government can be realized only if it could dialogues production of a genuine partnership between the parties have deep social, political, and share as much as is clear from the harmony, and have a strong will to review the mistakes of the past era and are not repeated.
The spokesman of the united that the next government should be able to find a serious handling each file horizon national has the ability to accommodate everyone without exclusivity or exclusion, and including sending a reassuring message to all citizens without exception, and that the spread of responsibilities between the center and the regions and provinces as unconstitutional allows the parties to exercise its powers without legal conquer the central authority.
Clinton on Iraq: Al-Maliki 'failed' leader, no formal deal with Iran
Published June 17, 2014
FILE: Aug. 12, 2013: Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at the American Bar Association's annual meeting in San Francisco, Calif. AP
Hillary Clinton said Tuesday she opposes any formal agreement with Iran in hopes of stopping the sectarian violence in neighboring Iraq.
The possibility of such a deal with the rogue nation surfaced after the militant group the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) last week surged through northern Iraq, taking Mosul and Tikrit. The Al Qaeda offshoot group then advanced toward the capital city of Baghdad over the weekend, overtaking government forces along the way.
"I'm not in favor of any formal agreements with Iran at this time," Clinton, a former secretary of State and potential 2016 presidential candidate, told Fox News on Tuesday.
Iran's Shiite regime is a close ally of Iraq Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and his Shiite-led government. At the same time, the United States has a shared interest in stopping the ISIS fighters in Iraq, where US troops fought and died for roughly eight years to overthrow the regime of then-President Saddam Hussein.
ISIS fighters have reportedly killed hundreds of Shiites in their run across Iraq.
Clinton suggested the United States try to "persuade or basically bargain" with al-Maliki to get him to run a more inclusive government.
However, she put little faith in him.
"If I were Iraqi, I would be thinking hard about - Do I want Maliki to continue to be prime minister?" Said Clinton during an interview with Fox's Bret Baier and Greta Van Susteren.
"He has failed as leader, purged the military, rearranged the government, gone after Sunnis. That is ( a ) recipe for continuing instability. "
Clinton also suggested that al-Maliki would not leave easily.
Secretary of State John Kerry on Monday raised the possibility of a deal when he told Yahoo News that the administration was discussing the idea.
In addition, the State Department has said Deputy Secretary William Burns talked briefly on the sidelines of nuclear talks in Vienna about the situation. However, the Pentagon said Monday the Defense Department has no active plan to work with Iran in Iraq.
62189 Allawi calls for the formation of a national government without al-Maliki
Allawi calls for the formation of a national government without al-Maliki
President of the National List of Iyad Allawi
The head of the National List of Iyad Allawi, the United States to stop what he called Iran's meddling in Iraq's internal affairs.
Allawi stressed during an interview with (Sky News Arabia), that Iran is a political player in Iraq, and that "the Iranian presence has an impact on the strategic decision to Iraq."
He called Allawi, Arab and Islamic countries to stop Iran, stressing that the "protection of Iran procedure developed without blatant interference in the affairs of other Arab countries."
Abizaid and that there is interference of external forces in Iraq and the international community turns a blind eye about it, and that the Iraqis are able to protect the holy shrines without interference from Iran, and that Iran must be prevented from occupying Iraq.
He stressed that there is coordination of Iranian Americans in Iraqi affairs and we do not want Iraq to be a victim of it.
And a statement of Iraqi politicians who issued Tuesday after a meeting at the home of the President of the National Alliance, Ibrahim al-Jaafari, Allawi said that the call for foreign intervention in Iraq is proof of the failure, pointing out that the statement should not be issued by the political leaders in this way, and to save the situation in Iraq lies in the formation of a government of national unity, and not crying on the ruins.
Allawi said: "We have to immediately replace the government and the government of national unity without Maliki interested in national reconciliation and the building of state institutions away from sectarianism."
Allawi noted that there are clear indications of a civil war in Iraq now and witness the events and the Iraqi national forces turned a blind eye about the presence of al-Qaida in Iraq.
Alawi said during the exclusive interview that he had signed with the current Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, a number of agreements have not implemented any of them, and that al-Maliki failed miserably in managing the security file.
He pointed out that al-Maliki is silent on the presence of the organization of the Islamic State in Iraq, Syria and al-Qaida in Iraq, and it must be prevented from roaming militias in Iraq, and take a unified position of the base and the organization of the Islamic state.
He said for the first time, that the newly private between him and the Prime Minister of Iraq's Kurdistan region, Massoud Barzani, stating that Barzani was angry with al-Maliki after cutting the salaries and allowances for the Kurds, saying: "beheadings no destruction of livelihoods," and that the government pressured the Kurds strange, noting that the Kurds will not step back from what they have achieved on the ground.
He pointed out the former prime minister that Iraq is being subjected to a plot for the division, stressing the importance of forming a government of national unity, not a caretaker government does not have its head-Maliki, to be a priority of the new government management dialogue for national reconciliation, and to prevent the continued approach of sectarianism and marginalization which hurt Iraq.
Allawi said that it is not right to accuse the year to terrorism and not all Shiites linked to Iran.
62190 Iraqi premier Maliki gaining strength as sectarian strife tears nation apart
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Middle East Iraqi premier Maliki gaining strength as sectarian strife tears nation apart
In the eight years since becoming prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki - shown at a 2011 news conference in Washington - has resisted Sunni demands for a greater say in governance. (Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images)
BY LIZ SLY June 17 at 8:46 PM Follow @ LizSly
BAGHDAD - Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is tightening his hold on power in response to the catastrophe unfolding in Iraq, even as his critics blame his policies for causing the mayhem that is tearing the country apart.
Reinforced by a call to arms from the country's top Shiite cleric and by promises of support from Iran, Maliki has set about rallying the country's Shiite majority behind his leadership as Sunni extremists bear down on Baghdad.
Negotiations on the formation of a new government have been suspended, and instead, Shiite factions who had sought to prevent Maliki from securing a third term in office by aligning with Sunni and Kurdish politicians have thrown their support behind him.
The risk of even deeper polarization between the sects is evident. The streets of Baghdad now teem with armed Shiite men, Whose response to the clergy's Summoning of fighters has shored up Further Maliki's position.
Sunnis shuddered Tuesday at the news that the body of a Sunni imam and two of his assistants had been discovered in Baghdad's morgue, four days after they were detained by men wearing government uniforms. The episode echoed the sectarian bloodletting that raged in the middle of the last decade, and it reinforced fears that a new round of killings could be imminent.
Officials close to Maliki acknowledge that his exclusionary politics and failure to reach out to Sunnis may have contributed to the ease with which predominantly Sunni parts of the country have fallen under the control of al-Qaeda-linked extremists over the past week.
But with the insurgents pressing south with their offensive in the direction of the capital, "this is not a good time to solve these problems," said Maliki's spokesman, Ali al-Musawi.
"No one is discussing the third term now," he said. "What we are discussing now is how to regain those cities and confront this attack."
There is also no discussion, he said, of Maliki offering the kinds of concessions the Obama administration says it is seeking more before offering military assistance to drive back the Insurgents.
In an apparent nod to US pressure, Maliki attended a meeting Tuesday night alongside leading Shiite figures - including some who had sought his ouster - and several Sunni leaders in what was intended as a display of national unity.
The gathering also sent a strong signal of support for the prime minister. In a statement, the participants called on the country to rally against the "terrorists," as well as for an end to sectarian hate speech and for civilians to stop carrying guns.
But the meeting did not include some of Maliki's leading Sunni critics or commit to any specific reforms, and it ended with the most prominent Sunni participant, parliament speaker Osama Nujaifi, walking away without speaking to Maliki, Reuters reported.
Now is not the time for discussing the kind of political reforms sought by Maliki's opponents that "would serve to create tensions." Musawi said. "What we need is to set differences aside and confront terrorists."
Many in Iraq, as well as the U.S. Government, Maliki's blame Repeated failures to reach out to Sunnis for the schism laid bare when fighters with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) swept into the northern city of Mosul last week. Their arrival triggered mass defections within the ranks of the US-trained security forces and celebrations among Sunni residents at the departure of the hated government troops.
In the eight years since he took power, Maliki has consistently resisted Sunni demands for a greater say in running the country, and he has routinely exploited his stewardship of the armed forces to defang his opponents. His attempt to arrest his Sunni vice president as the last US troops were leaving Iraq in 2011 and the crackdown against a Sunni protest site in the western city of Ramadi in December are just two examples of his efforts to muffle dissent.
Toby Dodge of the London School of Economics, who has written a book on Maliki's increasingly dictatorial rule, said he sees irony in the way Maliki is turning the current crisis to his advantage.
"With his sectarian behavior. . . he was directly responsible for driving the alienation of the Sunni population, "he said. "Now he is stepping forward and saying to his petrified Shiite population: 'I am the only one who can sort this out.' "
Indeed, such is Maliki's reputation for manipulative politics that even many Shiites on the streets of Baghdad believe he engineered the takeover of Mosul in order to deflect political rivals' effort to replace him.
"You only need to watch the TV. There is no more talk about the elections, "said Abu Zaid, 51, a car mechanic in central Baghdad. "It was a trick for him to stay in power."
The view is widely shared, but so is the opinion that now is not the time for him to step down.
"Maliki should resign. He is responsible for this, "said Aqil Ali, 25, who works in a juice shop. "But it is difficult. How could we change leaders at a time like this? "
That Maliki asked terrorists to capture half the country to secure his hold on power seems far-fetched. The crisis has, however, put Maliki, 63, back in familiar territory, leading Shiites against a Sunni threat.
A former schoolteacher from the southern Shiite city of Karbala, in 1979 Maliki fled a brutal crackdown against his Dawa Party by Saddam Hussein's Sunni-led regime. He spent decades in exile, mostly in Syria, before returning after the US invasion.
Back in Iraq, he headed a parliamentary committee charged with hunting down former members of Hussein's Baath Party before being anointed as prime minister after a divisive election in 2005, just as the Sunni insurgency against the US occupation of Iraq was peaking.
For the next six years, before US troops withdrew in 2011, American diplomats repeatedly pressed Maliki to be more inclusive, but they were not insistent, said Dodge. When the party of Maliki's rival, Ayad Allawi, won slightly more seats in parliament than Maliki's in the 2010 elections, the US Embassy backed Maliki's bid for the premiership over Allawi's because they feared a transition of power could destabilize the country. But Mechanisms That the Obama administration Envisaged to dilute Maliki's expanding powers were never Implemented, and after the troops left, the pressure on him eased.
Not all the recent opposition to Maliki is sectarian in origin. Until last week's upheaval, a faction loyal to the Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr and another aligned with the Shiite politician Ammar al-Hakim were in talks with Sunni and Kurdish leaders about forming an alliance that would deny Maliki a third term in office. Sadr has frequently referred to Maliki as a "dictator" and a "tyrant," descriptions that reflect a wider unhappiness with his reputedly high-handed approach to governance.
The Sunni extremists' sweep has obliged Shiites to stand behind Maliki, said Raad al-Khafaji, a Shiite tribal figure and leader in Sadr's Mahdi Army militia who has opened a recruitment center for volunteers enlisting to fight ISIS.
"The Sadrists were peaceful opponents of Maliki, but with foreign forces attacking our country, politicians need to unite against this aggression," he said in his office as Mahdi Army militiamen who once faced down joint operations by US and Iraqi troops milled about.
After the dismal performance of his security forces and the loss of so much territory, Maliki cannot survive in the long term, predicted Hamid al-Mutlaq, a Sunni in Allawi's secular bloc who still hopes that a coalition can be formed to choose a new prime minister. None of Mutlaq's putative coalition partition partners has been in touch since the crisis erupted.
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Why There One Day Will Be Democracy in Iraq
Jun 17, 2014
By Andrew Gripp
The results are in from Iraq’s parliamentary elections from April 2014. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s State of Law coalition received 92 of parliament’s 328 seats. The absence of a clear majority means that over the following weeks and months, Iraq’s leading politicians will be trying to form alliances and broker deals that will produce a majoritarian coalition government.
The results have many pundits feeling pessimistic. Some observers expect that Maliki will cobble together a broad Shi’a coalition, continue the political and social domination of the Sunnis, and exacerbate sectarian tensions.
Some pundits even question whether Iraq can survive as a democracy when the country’s demography suggests that the Shi’a majority – roughly 60 percent of the population – can maintain their grip on power indefinitely. IVN contributor Michael Austin invokes James Madison’s Federalist Paper #10 in support of the conclusion that Iraq’s leadership “will cease to be a participatory government of the people and become simply a majoritarian tyranny.”
However, Madison’s thinking supports the opposite conclusion. Madison believed that in a large republic, there would be such a diversity of “factions” that a stable majority could never last. Because citizens possess a variety of identities and interests (ethnic, religious, linguistic, class, ideological, etc.), no single faction can claim to represent the majority for an extended period of time, and therefore ruling majorities at some point become unrepresentative and illegitimate.
This diversity showed itself during the 2010 parliamentary election, when the list that received the greatest number of votes was not Maliki’s Shi’a State of Law coalition, but Ayad Allawi’s al-Iraqiyya list, which ran on a secular, inclusive, pan-Iraqi platform.
"The Shi'a majority makes up 60% of the population in Iraq."
According to the Iraqi Constitution, the president was supposed to first invite Allawi to build a governing coalition. However, the powerful Iranian liaison Qassim Sulaimani came to Iraq to broker a deal between Maliki and the militant, pro-Iranian Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr in order to preserve Shi’a hegemony.
After months of horsetrading, the various lists and parties did assemble a grand Shi’a coalition. Maliki’s State of Law coalition would partner with the Iraqi National Alliance, which included two major factions: the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq (ISCI), led by Ammar al-Hakim, and Muqtada al-Sadr’s Sadr Movement.
However, rather than representing a monolithic bloc, this forced and fragile grand Shi’a coalition quickly disintegrated.
For the last several years, the al-Sadr and al-Hakim factions within the Shi’a political majority have been encouraging the Kurds and followers of Allawi’s Iraqiyya to challenge the State of Law coalition at the provincial and national levels, and Grand Ayatollah al-Sistani, perhaps the most respected and influential Shi’a cleric in the country, has quietly called for Maliki’s replacement.
The 2014 parliamentary election results confirm that the Shi’a political community is far from united.
The Al-Ahrar bloc, which received the second most seats with 34, is led by al-Asadi, who has filled in as the leader of the Sadrists since Muqtada al-Sadr’s retirement from politics. Al-Asadi opposes the corruption exhibited by the current government and affirmed that “the most important thing is to remove al-Maliki.”
The recipient of the third most seats with 29 is the al-Muwatin Coalition. Though the leader of the coalition is ISCI’s Ammar al-Hakim and thus nominally led by a Shi’ite, al-Hakim, like the Sadrists, is also disillusioned by Maliki’s rule.
His new bloc (called the Civilian Coalition in English) is comprised of nearly two dozen entities that represent a broad swath of religious and political thought. In the words of one analyst, this coalition marks the beginning of “a rapprochement between the moderate Islamic movement and secularists” that could serve as a precursor to a broader movement to depose Maliki.
In a pre-election interview with Al-Monitor, Ammar al-Hakim channeled James Madison and acknowledged the country’s necessary movement away from sectarian and partisan squabbling and toward a more vibrant factionalism:
The crises of a big country like Iraq cannot be reduced to one single issue or one case. Likewise, one cannot neglect the possibility that crises overlap with one another as a result of a specific approach. [...] It is certain that the lack of commitment to a common understanding of the concept of a new Iraqi state means that trends are different and sometimes intersecting. We cannot limit the problem to merely two parties — those with and those against [Maliki], or a centralized state and a decentralized state. The problem is multifaceted and has multiple parties.
Such statements indicate that Iraq – at a pace far greater than that of the U.S. – is already starting to outgrow its insular, identity-based politics and instead can organize around competing visions of the national good.
Indeed, America’s long, contentious, and bloody history offers reasons for optimism regarding the possibility of democracy in Iraq.
Since its founding, the United States had its own domineering majority: northerners. Initially represented by the Federalists, the northern states manipulated the country’s republican institutions toward its own selfish ends and against those of the southern minority. It established a national bank and passed protective tariffs that benefited the interests of bankers and manufacturers at the expense of southern farmers.
"America's long, contentious, and bloody history offers reasons for optimism regarding the possibility of democracy in Iraq."Andrew Gripp, IVN Contributor
The Federalists also persecuted the Democratic-Republican opposition by passing the Alien and Sedition Acts. In response, Jefferson and Madison drafted the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions, which argued that states had no obligation to obey unconstitutional federal laws. These resolutions laid the intellectual foundation for the nullification crisis and, later, outright secessionism.
It took decades of minor insurrections, political crises, and finally a Civil War before the United States overcame its own tendency toward regionalism and saw itself first as a union rather than a loose confederation of states. Not until 1902 did the country officially refer to itself in the singular (“the United States is”) rather in the plural (“the United States are”).
Iraq’s progress toward national unification after just ten years makes America’s experience seem sluggish by comparison.
While Iran’s kingmaker Qassem Sulaimani is again in Baghdad trying to piece together another Shi’a coalition, his chances at success seem slimmer than in 2010. Having alienated many Shi’a and Kurds, Maliki may have to look elsewhere if he wants to retain the premiership. For example, Qassim al-Fahdawi, an MP and former governor of the Sunni Anbar province, has expressed a willingness to work with Maliki.
These are just some of the encouraging signs that one day, perhaps soon, there will be a stable, post-sectarian democracy in Iraq.