Iraq: Maliki's takeover of power threatens a new civil war

International Institute for Strategic Studies - London
Part II

The rising concern also because al-Maliki told the public about how the exercise of state power in the future. One week after U.S. forces leave Iraq, Maliki held a press conference where the debtor is effectively of the Convention on Arbil, and threatened to move forward away from the coalition government to the government of a majority government based on Islamic Shiite political parties. At the same time has expanded the role and influence of the Prime Minister: Ahmed al-Maliki has been erected in the center of the Deputy Head of Office, and gave him a supervisory role to all the Iraqi security apparatus, and make it at the same time responsible for the security of his father. This has helped Te flexibility in the judiciary: in January 2011, the rule of the Chief Justice Medhat al-Mahmoud that a group of the devices, the former independent and powerful, the institution under the U.S. occupation - the Integrity Commission, the Electoral Commission Alaliaalmstqlh, Central Bank of Iraq and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights - will be subject now the direct supervision of the government. And recognizing that the government itself is weak and stubborn, and has increased the influence of the rule and the arm of the Office of the Prime Minister clearly. In light of the catastrophic effects of the judge's ruling, the Speaker sent a letter to Osama al government, seeking to defend the independence of the Central Bank. However, it was noted that the authority of Parliament itself undermined the judicial ruling. In 2010, the rule of the Supreme Judicial Council that the new legislation can only be subtracted from the government, not Parliament, the Prime Minister gave the dominant voice in the government, and the ability to control the work of the legislature. And most recently in April 2012, was arrested Faraj Haidari, the head election commission on corruption charges and was jailed for four days. This Commission, which oversees the national and local elections and any referendum, too, had been praised by the United Nations for the 2010 elections to take place in a free and fair, but chided by al-Maliki when failed to get majority. And the arrest of its President and one other staff on charges of corruption small is clearly an attempt to coerce and intimidate the Commission, and endangering the transparency and fairness of the upcoming elections for the suspicions.

Challenge the federal

And delivery attempts Maliki continued concentration of power their hands alone, it is surprisingly little that to break the power of exhibitions the main, Iraq, by moving against al-Hashemi and al-Issawi and al-Mutlaq. And timing core to move shortly after the withdrawal of U.S. forces, may lie because of the demands of the federal provinces, which could represent a threat to the hegemony of the most powerful al-Maliki.

The Iraqi constitution has been written hastily in 2005 and remained a close controversial. The final draft was considered a victory for the two dominant Kurdish parties KDP and the Patriotic Union. Their goal is to preserve the autonomy which has been dedicated since 1991, at the time of the development of possible further restrictions on the authority of Baghdad. However recall that n, the Constitution gave provinces the right individual in the exercise of executive powers, legislative, judicial, and to demand a fair share of national oil revenues. And given eighteen provinces of Iraq the right to become Acalama federal authority such as the Kurdish regional government. Can be made ​​as soon as the referendum on the vote of the provincial council. During the year 2011 arrived members of the senior Iraqi leaders, especially Najafi and Hashemi cognition regional decentralization is the only democratic way to limit the authority of al-Maliki. The response of the Prime Minister in October 2011 launched a campaign of arrests across three provinces, which are crescent around Baghdad - Anbar, Salahuddin and Diyala, which has achieved a large proportion of the votes of the members of the Iraqi parliament. The Council urged that the provinces of Salahuddin and Diyala to vote for a referendum to try to get a big federal power. Anbar province and has threatened to do likewise. And more discomfort that hit the al-Maliki, the attempts of the southern provinces of the mainly Shi'ite Basra and Wasit to do the same. And respond to it because of attempts to weaken the constitutional legitimacy of the central hegemony, al-Maliki launched another campaign of repression and March, his influence on the Electoral Commission to make sure that are not taken to a referendum at all. In December, two days before the Iraqi forces cordoned off his house, threw his support behind Hashemi federal moves, saying that the citizens of the provinces do not want to accept more injustice, corruption and poor management of the central government. In contrary to this background, he went against al-Maliki, Vice President, and can see his efforts to curtail the role of the Iraqi government Kmhaullac to stop this serious threat to Mskth power.

Risk of further violence

The prime minister's attempts to focus the power and the marginalization of their hands of Iraq, - the main electoral rival - can seriously undermine the policies of Iraq, is likely to spark a civil war which ended in 2008. And sects and political parties which eliminated plans well thought out from power in Baghdad could be again, that seeks to take revenge through violence coordinator, which aims to remove al-Maliki from power.

The 2010 elections represented a major political breakthrough national. The first election after the stage of Saddam in December 2005 took place in the middle of the rebellion, which spread from the north-west of Iraq all the way to Baghdad. At the time that the goal of the rebels to coerce the U.S. forces out of Iraq, but also to achieve a coup for political stability, which was removing Alaadhar ex-of the old regime of power and those Almitrasfin with them. At the same time, the stability led to the strengthening of former political exiles and those who have used race and religion as a means of political mobilization crucial. As a result of violence, exclusion and alignment, the 2005 elections, the percentage of low Sunni turnout with the majority in Baghdad and across the northwest. Like the Parliament and the government as a result of dominance by the political parties that mobilized Shiite religious voice in public. Thus, the election played a basic role in pushing Iraq into civil war that have done to Iraq until 2008. In 2010, mobilized the Iraqi List headed by Allawi, the Sunni vote itself to the north-west of Iraq, which boycotted the 2005 elections. And raised the Iraqi promise that democratic participation, as opposed to insurgent violence, can form a government representative and effective. This promise gave Iraq two and a Thmnmaúh and one and fifty thousand Thmnmaúh and twenty-three votes and 91 seats in the new compared to what obtained by the rule of law, headed by al-Maliki, which came Thaniabmleonin seven hundred and ninety seven thousand, six hundred and twenty-four votes and 89 seats.

The problem now is that Iraqis do not have anything close to representative government promised by the voices of the 2010 elections. Instead, by seeking al-Maliki continued to dominate, seeking to oust the Iraqi political power and using repressive measures to this end. The danger in the long run, therefore, is that Maliki's ambitions could lead Iraq into civil war now.