Friday, September 23, 2011

Nouri's given last chance?

Iraq is currently in Political Stalemate II which began when Nouri al-Maliki's inability to follow the Constitution and nominate a Cabinet which Parliament signed off on was overlooked and he was illegally moved from prime minister-designate to prime minister. In all the months since (nine), Nouri's been unable or unwilling to fill the security ministries. Acting ministers are not real ministers. They've never been voted on by Parliament so they have no real powers and can be dismissed by Nouri at any time without any oversight from Parliament. The puppet has puppets.

The Political Stalemate largely results from the failure of Nouri to abide by the Erbil Agreement -- the understanding which ended Political Stalemate I. Nouri got what he wanted out of the agreement (to remain prime minister) and then trashed the agreement. Ayad Allawi and his Iraqiya political slate have been highly critical of Nouri over this. More recently, the Kurdish voice calling for a return to the Erbil Agreement has grown stronger. Currently, Nouri and the Kurds are at logger heads. Earlier this week, Speaker of Parliament Osama al-Nujaifi traveled to the Kurdistan Regional Government to meet with Kurdish officials.

Al Sabaah reports that while al-Nujaifi did carry a few ideas or proposals with him, they were verbal and nothing in writing. Both sides were in agreement that the Constitution needed to be followed and, the paper reports, there are plans for a meet-up between the Kurds, Iraqiya and the National Alliance.

Al Mada reports that al-Nujaifi will visit Iran and Turkey to raise the issues of their bombing northern Iraq. In addition, al-Nujaifi told the press that the Constitution must be followed and any oil and gas law must result from dialogue and discussions. (One of the Kurds chief complaints is Nouri's proposed oil & gas bill.) Ayad Allawi is quoted stating that he urges dialogue and that Iraq has entered into a "crisis" period which must be resolved. But it's another Al Mada article today in which Allawi voices his thoughts at length including that the only thing the Erbil Agreement achieved was to inaugurate Nouri as prime minister. The article notes that Iraqiya met yesterday and quotes their spokesperson as she states that Iraqiya has repeatedly provided Nouri an opportunity to return to the Erbil AGreement and that this is the last time they will urge him to do so. Whether or not this means Iraqiya will move for a no-confidence vote is not addressed in the article. (Since it's not addressed in the article, either it's not being planned or it's being kept a secret plan.)

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