Friday, May 06, 2011

Violence continues and Nouri makes some nominations

Alsumaria TV notes today, "Mounting violence in Iraq during the last 24 hours has left behind 95 people among killed and wounded mostly members of security forces." Aswat al-Iraq reports that a bodyguard for Khaled al-Lahiebi, chief of the Diyala Sahwa councils, died from a stabbing at a checkpoint today while last night a Kirkuk sticky bombing resulted in two people being injured.

Violence was rising during the long period known as the "stalemate." Elections were held in March 2010. For over nine months, no progress was made. Nouri questioned vote totals, objected to this, objected to that, refused to allow Ayad Allawi have first crack at forming a government, etc. Finally in November a deal was reached that allowed the opportunity for progress.

But Nouri wasted that opportunity. He was named prime minister-designate and given more than 30 days to form a Cabinet. He never could come up with a complete Cabinet. And among the seven positions left empty were the Ministers of Interior, Defense and National Security.

Despite becoming prime minister in December, Nouri still hasn't filled those slots. He does have some nominees. Al Mada notes that he's sent to Parliament a list of nominees for to head the three ministries. Alsumaria notes the nominees -- Minister of Defense: Saadun Al Dulaimi; Minister of Interior: Tawfiq Al Yasiri; and Minister of National Security: Ryad Gharib. They also note that both Iraqiya and the National Alliance are stating proper consultation on the Italicnominees did not take place.

Meanwhile, earlier this week the Parliament heard from the Electoral Commission. What happened? Even New Sabah can't sort it out. They note rumors that somehow the military got involved, rumors that the head of the Commission was told she would have to step down, rumors that none of that took place and it was a standard issue q&a.

Wednesday, Osama al-Nujaifi, Speaker of Parliament, met with trade union representatives. Al Sabaah reports that, following the meeting, al-Nujaifi issued a statement declaring that it is the workers whose fingerprints are key to the rebuilding of Iraq, they are the basis for any and all economic development and a part of the restoration of every day life. He declared that the Parliament "supports all unions and organizations."

Aswat al-Iraq notes that al-Nujaifi is asserting that only Parliament can extend the SOFA (the agreement between the US and Iraq which allows for US troops to be on Iraqi soil). Aswat al-Iraq reports:

The Legislature of the so-called ‘White al-Iraqiya Bloc,’ Aliya Nuseif, on Thursday demanded the U.S.
forces to present a clear report on the number of their bases in Iraq, warning against the existence what it described as "underground" bases after the American withdrawal from Iraq.
"The number of American bases in Iraq to this day remains unclear.
U.S. forces are demanded to present a report about the bases they have established, at a time when Iraq had no government, before the finalization of any subject related to the Security Agreement signed between both countries," Nuseif told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

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