Posts Tagged ‘Maliki’
Maliki Will Lead Iraq as Eight-Month Deadlock Ends Amid Walkout – BusinessWeek
Last Updated on Thursday, 11 November 2010 06:27 Written by admin Thursday, 11 November 2010 06:27
November 11, 2010, 7:48 PM EST
By Kadhim Ajrash, Nayla Razzouk and Caroline Alexander
Nov. 12 (Bloomberg) — Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki will remain in office after leaders from the country’s rival political blocs reached agreement on forming a coalition following eight months of deadlock and a resurgence of sectarian violence.
The challenge of finding balance among Iraq’s competing factions was highlighted when some members of former premier Ayad Allawi’s Iraqiyah party walked out of a parliamentary session during voting on the leadership compromise.
Lawmakers late yesterday re-elected President Jalal Talabani, a Kurd, for another term. They chose Usama Al-Najafi, a Sunni Muslim in the Iraqiyah party, as parliament speaker. Talabani, endorsed by 195 members in the 325-seat assembly, then asked al-Maliki, from the Shiite majority, to form a new government.
Ending a leadership vacuum that has lingered since elections in March, the power-sharing accord among Shiite, Sunni and Kurdish factions may help curb an increase in violence.
The new government, which will take office as the U.S. prepares to pull out its remaining troops next year, must address long-standing disputes over issues including Iraq’s internal boundaries and the rights to the country’s oil and gas reserves.
Allawi, who won the most seats in March 7 balloting with backing from Sunni and secular voters, “was effectively squeezed into a choice of joining a government led by Maliki or remaining in opposition,” said Gala Riani, Middle East analyst for London-based IHS Global Insight. Allawi’s exclusion would have had “disastrous consequences for Iraq’s security, given the widespread support by Sunnis for the bloc,” she said.
The parliament also elected Qusai al-Suhail, a member of the anti-U.S. movement led by Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, and Kurdish politician Aref Tayfur as deputy speakers.
“It seems that no party, including the U.S., has come out thinking that they’ve got everything they had hoped for,” Iraq’s ambassador to the U.S., Samir Sumaida’ie, said in a telephone interview. “But that’s the nature of democracy.”
The Obama administration had urged that any coalition be inclusive, Sumaida’ie said. The U.S. “made no secret” that it wanted Iraqiyah to have “a real share of power” in the government, he said.
U.S. officials who spoke on condition of anonymity said the new government has sufficient checks and balances to prevent any abuse of power. In the U.S. view, the agreement was most significant because it was hammered out by Iraqis without outside influence, the officials said.
Under the accord, Allawi will head a newly created council that will set and oversee security and foreign policy, the U.S. officials said. Decisions emerging from the council, which will act as a board of directors to al-Maliki’s executive authority, may require more than a simple majority, the officials said.
Al-Maliki’s group will have five ministries in the new government, his adviser, Ali al-Dabbagh, said yesterday in remarks televised on the Dubai-based Arab-language news network al-Arabiya. Al-Maliki will formally take up the premiership after a religious holiday next week, he said.
Iraq has the world’s fifth-largest oil reserves, without counting fields in the semi-autonomous Kurdish region in the north. Output was 2.35 million barrels a day last month, a drop of 6 percent from a year earlier, according to U.S. government data. The government has awarded 12 oil-service contracts and three gas licenses, hoping to boost production of its most prized exports.
Crude futures yesterday touched $ 88.63, the highest level since Oct. 9, 2008, while oil for December delivery settled unchanged at $ 87.81 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Massoud Barzani, head of the Kurdish region, said on al- Arabiya television yesterday that Iraqiyah “behaved in a very responsible manner” by agreeing to the plan. He said he expected the U.S., which had previously advocated “changing some positions including the president,” would support the proposed coalition.
The U.S. has pushed Iraqis to resolve the deadlock, a call backed by regional powers. Vice President Joe Biden visited the country and has had numerous telephone conversations with its leaders to encourage them to form a government.
Iraqi leaders held talks on forming a coalition in Erbil, the Kurdish capital, on Nov. 8 and followed that with a series of meetings in Baghdad.
Seeking a Vote
The lawmakers who walked out of the parliament session wanted to hold a vote on formally overturning decisions taken by a Shiite- led committee tasked with purging members of former President Saddam Hussein’s Sunni-dominated Baath party from government. It had barred three former Baathists, supporters of Iraqiyah, from taking government positions.
The lawmakers said their colleagues’ rejection of their request to reinstate the three men violated the deal leading to a coalition government.
No party had won enough seats in March parliamentary vote to take office alone. Iraqiyah, with support from Sunni and secular voters, took 91 seats to 89 for al-Maliki’s State of Law alliance, which later won backing from other Shiite blocs.
—With assistance from Kadhim Ajrash in Baghdad, Maher Chmaytelli in Dubai and Flavia Krause-Jackson and Viola Gienger in Washington. Editors: Heather Langan, Bob Drummond.
To contact the reporters on this story: Nayla Razzouk in Amman at email@example.com; Caroline Alexander in London at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Peter Hirschberg at email@example.com.
Tentative Deal in Iraq Keeps Maliki in Power – New York Times
Last Updated on Thursday, 11 November 2010 05:26 Written by admin Thursday, 11 November 2010 05:26
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Tentative Deal in Iraq Keeps Maliki in Power
New York Times
Khalid Mohammed/AP People inspected a destroyed car that was bombed in Baghdad on Wednesday. A string of attacks singled out Christians' homes. By JOHN LELAND and STEVEN LEE MYERS BAGHDAD — Iraqi officials on Thursday welcomed a tentative agreement …
Iraq reaches power-sharing accord
Factbox: Five facts about Iraqi PM Nuri al-Maliki
Maliki to Keep Power in Iraq as Leaders Agree on Coalition to End Deadlock