Thursday, April 10, 2008

Iraqi Political Maneuverings

The Iraqi government made an interesting statement, in that it sounds conciliatory but is issued during a government offensive against one of those very "withdrawn political blocs." Is this an appeal to the Sadrists for a compromise or an invitation to everyone else to join an anti-Sadr coalition?

Iraqi Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi said on Tuesday that he hopes to start a dialogue to agree on a national political dialogue which will
pave the way for the return of the withdrawn political blocs to the

“The key element in the success of this operation is to map out a
“national project” approved by all blocs and respected by the government,” said a statement of al-Hashemi’s office quoting the vice president as saying during his meeting with the head of the Iraqi National List INL Iyad Allawi.“We hope to initiate dialogue on how to agree on a national political program which paves the way for the return of the withdrawn political blocs from the government,”
al-Hashemi added.

The incumbent government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki,
formed in April 2006, has been in a quandary after influential political blocs quit it, including the IAF, which had five portfolios and the deputy premier post, the former premier Iyad Allawi's Iraqi National List (INL), which had five portfolios, and before them the Sadrists, or Iraqis loyal to Shiite leader Muqtada al-Saadr, who had six portfolios.

“The vice president stressed there should be no armed groups which defy the state’s authority and its legitimacy in maintaining order and security,” the statement added.

Badger on April 9 has some cogent analysis.

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