Sunday, November 11, 2012
Iraq the continued stalemate
In election developments, All Iraq News reports that Iraqiya leader Ayad Allawi announced Saturday that the National Accord Movement will participate in the upcoming provincial elections (scheduled for April 20th). In a statement, Allawi declared that the National Accord Movement have fought tyranny and injustice since the accord's founding in 1975.
The last elections Iraq held were in March 2010 and those were parliamentary elections. Parliamentary elections are scheduled to be held again in 2014. Those candidates elected to the Parliament will then pick a prime minister-designate if the United States government lets them. In 2010, Iraqiya won the most seats in Parliament and therefore should have seen the prime minister-designate be one of their own. Instead, the White House backed Nouri al-Maliki who refused to surrender the post of prime minister and created an 8 month political stalemate before the United States rescued him by brokering the Erbil Agreement, a contract that allowed him a second term as prime minister in exchange for concessions from Nouri. (After getting his second term, Nouri broke the contract.) Mustafa Habib (Al Mada) explores how Iraqiya has seen break aways since the 2010 elections. This includes White Iraqiya which is the most removed from the larger Iraqiya bloc. After White, the next largest splinter group is Free. Though Nouri's State of Law insists that the splits demonstrate a weakening of Allawi, the splinter groups express no problems with Allawi and both Free and White tend to vote with the larger Iraqiya.
Possibly Nouri's State of Law eagerly points to Iraqiya's split in an attempt to distract from their own problems which include a second political stalemate that has morphed into a political crisis. The Erbil Agreement noted above is what ended the eight-month political stalemate that followed the parliamentary elections. Nouri's refusal to honor the contract created the second and ongoing political stalemate. In this stalemate, the sharpest disagreements are shaping up between Nouri's Baghdad-based government and the semi-autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government.
Disagreements over oil contracts are one point of contention. Nouri stamps his feet and whines but there's really nothing he can do because despite agreeing with the Bush White House in 2007 to pass an oil and gas law, Nouri never managed to do that. Without that law, the KRG is within its rights to auction or lease whatever fields it wants to.