Kurdish-Shiite alliance on stake

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Baghdad/ Iraq TradeLink:

On the eve of expected reported sudden visit of Kurdish President Masoud

Barzani to Baghdad and the demotion of the finance minister Hoshiar Zebari, observers look with doubts and anticipations of "dismantling the 9-year Kurdish alliance.

In October 2007, the two main Shiite parties (State of Law and the Higher Islamic Council) and the two main Kurdish parties (Democratic Party and National Patriotic Union Party) agreed to form a Shiite-Kurdish alliance that stipulated the real partnership in power and avoiding negligence to each other in the political spheres.

Finance Minister Hoshiar Zebari is the third Kurdish official that loses his post in the federal government, led by the Shiite component.

The first one was the General of Staff Babakr Zebari who lost his post upon direct order from Premier Haidar al-Ibadi, where a Shiite general took his post.

The second one was deputy premier Roze Nouri Shawees, who lost his post in the recent ministerial reshuffle in August, 2015.

Parliamentary sources reported that the Kurdish bloc was unable to unite stands with other components to vote for minister Zebari.

158 MPs voted against Zebari, 77 against and 14 abstained during the parliamentary session.

Barzani's party strongly criticized the demotion of minister Zebari, charging the voters to be against the Kurds and trying to abort procedures for peaceful co-existence in the country, but did not name any of the components for such anti-stand against Zebari.

Kurdish MP Ashwaq al-Jaf said that the demotion of Zebari was not for corruption, but for "political ends that wanted to revenge from all Kurdish figures in the political arena which took stands against ex-premier Nouri al-Maliki".

"The happenings are negative moves to empty Premier Ibadi's government from its ministers to topple it in the near future", she added.

The other Kurdish Patriotic Union Party, headed by Jalal Talabani, took a stand of neutrality, but some of its members confirmed their stand to preserve the Kurdish-Shiite relations.

Political observers believe that this Kurdish-Shiite alliance helped the Shiite component to keep the premiership of the government for the last 12 years, against the Sunni component which failed to get any political compromise with the Kurds.

Despite the disparities between Barzani and Maliki, who controlled the state for eight years (2006-2014), no talk was mentioned on dismantling the joint alliance, except after the demotion of minister Zebari, which was regarded as an attack against President Barzani in person.

On the other hand, the State of Law sources reported they had "no role" in demoting Zebari.

It is expected that the coming visit of President Barzani will tackle the future of this alliance, if the joint talks failed to reach a compromise.