Monday, December 18, 2006

The political process enters a new phase

IRAQ THE MODEL blogged Instead of a 'national rescue front' led by the opposition some influential politicians here are considering forming a new political front made up of members of the government ostensibly to override sectarian and ethnic divides, and it seems there's support from Washington to form this bloc.

This is good hews.
More about the shape and role should be clear when Tariq al-Hashimi returns from there as he represents one of the main candidate components of the proposed bloc (the Islamic party, the SCIRI and the two Kurdish parties) with reports about possible inclusion of the Iraqi bloc of Allawi, who already said he'd join the bloc if he gets invited to.
The important thing is that a coalition of Sunnis, Shia, and Kurds will show that sectarian violence is not the answer, and they should form political alliances.
This new bloc, once formed, is expected to work jointly with Maliki to carry out a wide cabinet reshuffle as well as take measures to deal with Sadr and his militia. Iraq Pundit has another theory in which he thinks Maliki could be replaced by Aadil Abdul Mahdil, the current VP from the SCIRI but I guess that's not among the primary goals of the new front, not now at least because I think the goal is to press and encourage Maliki to make some decisions rather than to replace him which might further destabilize the political process instead of advancing it.
Keep Maliki, and least for the short term.
Speculations for new names are already appearing in the media here and these names indicate that the direction of the new bloc will be towards including, and giving a bigger role to, elements who believe in continuing the political process and who reject extreme ideas and irrational suggestions for solutions. The latter represented by groups such as the Sadrists, the Ahl al-Iraq conference (the part of the accord front headed by Adnan al-Dulaimi) and Salih al-Mutlaq and his team, in other words the parties that call for fighting the MNF and deal irresponsibly with the sectarian situation whether by violent acts or provocative statements.
The important thing is to show Maliki he can remain in power, and let us take al Sadr out.

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