Sunday, January 22, 2006

Months to form Iraqi Government

Iraq the Model blogged Reactions to the results announced yesterday varied from one party to another but in general it seems that the results were welcomed outside Iraq more than inside as politicians here re still have the task of looking for a way to form a government that convinces all concerned parties.

The hard work.
The positive thing about those reactions is that objections weren’t as harsh as they were when the preliminary results surfaced. Now, those with objections confirmed that they want to push the political process forward; on al-Hurra, a spokesman of Maram said today that "although we have reservations on the results, we intend to go on with the political process" and this will most likely be enough to cast away the ghost of a bloody conflict we were afraid of.

All are convinced now that solutions lie within politics and negotiations but what concerns us now is that some parties will perhaps keep a high ceiling for their demands. It is true that no single bloc can form a government without forming a coalition with other bloc(s) but the number of seats each bloc got will remain the factor that decides the form of and terms of cooperation despite the calls for forming a government of national unity that overlooks election results and focuses more on dealing with the current challenges and dangers.
What he is talking about is that while the Shi'ites did not get enough to form a government, they are close enough that they can partner with any of the other major groups, so while if they are smart they will try to make all of the other groups happy, they are not going to be forced to do anything against their interests.
Today the supreme judicial board decided to extend the term of the interim national Assembly and interim government for another 3 months after a request submitted by the presidency council, apparently to avoid facing constitutional vacuum.
This decision suggests that forming the government is expected to take quite a lot of time.

The UIA looks excited and seems to be rushing things more than other blocs; yesterday they said they’ve formed to committees to direct talks with the two other major blocs; the Kurdish and the Sunni. The UIA hope they can form the government before the end of February when the reconciliation conference will be due, maybe to avoid external influence from Arab countries-that back the Sunni parties and Allawi-on the process. However, I think the UIA will not make it and will have to come to the conference before the government is in place.
If they are smart they will form a government, probably with the Kurds.
The UIA is discussing many internal issues now, among which is the issue of nominating the PM as well as the need to reorganize their lines after facing objection on the policy of the UIA from the Fadheela and the Sadrists who said that it’s not the right time now to talk about federalism.

I expect the UIA to focus on renewing their coalition with the Kurdish parties but I doubt it will be as easy as it was last year for the changes that erupted on the Kurdish end, mainly the recent union of the two Kurdish administrations.
The other thing that may hurt with the Kurds is that this time they got fewer seats because votes from outside their region were not included, but they still have enough to team with the Shi'ites.
The UIA has put a condition-though they refuse to call it so- on the participation of the Sunni, that is “we want to form the government with the good elements in their bloc”. I believe this was a wrong choice of words because the Sunni too do not think that all UIA members are “good” and I think both parties should look at each other as a whole since all members in each individual bloc have come together to enter the election as one body after agreeing on a unified policy. This selectivity on the UIA’s part is in my opinion illogical and impractical.

No comments: