Aljazeera learned that a number of Sunni Arab political parties in Iraq chose Mishaan al-Jiburi as their candidate on Wednesday.

 

Al-Jiburi was nominated at a meeting attended by representatives of the Iraqi Islamic Party (IIP), Sunni Waqf (endowment), Iraqi Independent Democratic Gathering (IIDG), the Iraqiyyun (Iraqis) Gathering, Constitutional Monarchy Movement of Iraq (CMMI) and the Arab Democratic Party (ADP), as well as other political and tribal groupings.

 

The nomination comes after talks broke down at a key Iraqi parliament meeting, raising fears of a delay in drawing up a permanent constitution because of the failure of Kurds, Shia and Sunnis to agree on a government.

 

Political resuscitation

 

Iraq's ethnic and religious groups were huddled in meetings as they attempted to resuscitate a political process that has been dogged by infighting two months after the country's first free vote in 50 years.

 

Al-Jiburi (L) was nominated from
among several Sunni names

The delay raised questions about whether the country's volatile communal mix could write a permanent legal charter by mid-August, the deadline set in the interim constitution or Transitional Administrative Law (TAL).

 

"There are certain groups that want to see the TAL as the basis of the new constitution. If that is agreed upon it will make our job much easier to finish it by August. But probably we'll see some big differences," said Sunni MP Hajim al-Hassani.

 

National identity

 

He feared key national identity issues would rear their heads again over the spring and summer.

 

"State and religion will definitely come up again, federalism will come up again, some of the touchy issues will crop up. Personally I think we'll see an extension."

 

The TAL calls for the permanent constitution to be completed by mid-August and put to a national referendum in October, but allows an extra half-year for drafting the document if the sides cannot reach agreement.

 

Reaction

 

Iraqi Islamic party leader Muhsin Abd al-Hameed  told Aljazeera that al-Jiburi was among several candidates nominated for the post by the Sunni community.  

 

But al-Hameed said, "I believe the national assembly will not endorse this nomination."

 

"State and religion will definitely come up again, federalism will come up again, some of the touchy issues will crop up"

Hajim al-Hassani, Sunni MP

 On whether there were alternative candidates, al-Hameed said, "There were other candidates such as (outgoing) President Ghazi al-Yawer, Dr. Hashim al-Husaini and Adnan al-Janabi from the coalition list."

 

The Islamic party represents a large political umbrella of the Sunni community, al-Hameed added.

 

Adjourned

 

As prominent figures including interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi bolted from the proceedings and the media was ejected in Tuesday's stormy proceedings, parliament adjourned the session - only the second since the 30 January election - until Sunday.

 

The debacle brought to the surface the power struggle among the Shia, Kurds and Sunnis that has dragged on in closed-door negotiations since the watershed election that saw millions vote despite security fears.

 

The failure of politicians to put aside their differences in the face of an uprising and a war-shattered economy has stirred anger on the streets and elicited warnings that parliament risks losing its legitimacy.