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Political deadlock paralyses Iraq

The US occupation and political meddling has left Iraq in a chaotic deadlock, a leading analyst says.

Last Modified: 25 Jan 2006 00:15 GMT
Al-Jaafari's (R) performance in government is controversial

The US occupation and political meddling has left Iraq in a chaotic deadlock, a leading analyst says.

Haroun Muhamad, an Iraqi political analyst, says inept and inexperienced leaders have locked Iraq into a political crisis.

 

"The US occupation has created an incurable situation in Iraq, by letting unqualified and sectarian politicians rise to power," he told Aljazeera.net.

 

"With the current amount of unqualified statesmen in Iraq, it is very difficult even for the US to rectify the situation and bring to the limelight some responsible officials."

 

The United Iraqi Alliance, a Shia list that won the biggest number of seats (128) in Iraq's last parliamentary elections, insists the government must be formed according to election results.

 

Iraq's most powerful Shia politician, Abd al-Aziz al-Hakim, has said the Shia will oppose some key Sunni demands, including the cancellation of the elections results and amendments to the constitution. He has also refused to assign Sunni politicians to major ministries such as defence and interior.

 

However, Sunni politicians insist that the Iraq constitution stipulated that, after the permanent General Assembly was elected, the constitution would be reviewed. They are now threatening to boycott the government if their demands are not met.

 

Dr Dhafir al-Ani, a spokesman for the Iraqi Coordination Front, a Sunni list, told Aljazeera.net that the front would fight until the injustices of the last elections were rectified.

 

The electoral commission found fraudulent voting in certain strategic Sunni constituencies and ruled that votes from these districts were null and void.

 

Al-Ani says: "The electoral commission prevented us from votes enough to give us 11 seats. We will invest every opportunity to contest the results through the Iraqi courts."

 

Series of rejections

Al-Hakim continued to reject a number of Sunni demands in his visit to Iraq's Kurdistan earlier this month.

 

"No to repeating the elections and no to amending the constitution," he said.

 

He is also insisting on adopting federalism in Iraq. Al-Hakim had called for a self-rule Shia region in southern Iraq.

 

"With the current amount of unqualified statesmen in Iraq, it is very difficult even for the US to rectify the situation and bring to limelight some responsible officials. It is very hard I am afraid"

The Iraqi Islamic party, one of the main non-Shia Muslim political parties in Iraq, accepted a last-minute agreement in December and participated in the elections after guarantees that the constitution would be reviewed in parliament.

 

"Even if we decided not to participate in the government, we will work in the parliament to ensure the best for the Iraqi people," al-Ani told Aljazeera.net.

 

"The constitution, which is a time-bomb threatening the integrity of Iraq, will be reviewed; we entered the election on that basis."

 

Salih al-Mutlak, the head of the Iraqi Front for National Dialogue list, said on Tuesday that the electoral commission insisted on passing forged results.

 

"The final results were identical to those it announced three days after the elections kicked off, as if everything had been prepared to divide Iraq into Shia, Sunni, and Kurdish blocs," he said.

 

Dangerous situation

He described the political situation in Iraq as dangerous, stressing that those who have been working hard to "consolidate the division" should stop doing so.

 

The United Iraqi Alliance is not as united as its name might suggest. It is suffering internal division with its two candidates for the post of prime minister holding opposing points of view.

 

Al-Hakim refused to repeat
polls or amend the constitution 

The first candidate, the current prime minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari, does not enjoy the backing of many inside and outside the alliance list. And the performance of his government remains controversial.

 

Al-Ani says the government's record is full of failures.

 

"Al-Jaafari's government record is catastrophic in terms of reconstruction, security, human rights, and public funding," he told Aljazeera.net.

 

"We are looking forward for neutral and national figures to be assigned for the coming cabinet."

 

While leaders of the United Iraqi Alliance insist that the biggest winners should have the lion's share in forming the government, some leaders from inside the alliance hold different views.

 

Nadim al-Jabiri, a candidate of the Shia United Iraqi Alliance list for the post of prime minister and head of Al-Fadila party, warned of a new Iraqi government that would firm up sectarianism.

 

Sectarian tension

"Iraq nowadays is full of sectarian tension, and our information says the tension is increasing as the deliberations regarding the formation of the government is going on," he said.

 

"It is very important that the coming prime minister is acceptable to most Iraqi factions. This will bridge the gaps and re-establish trust among all parties."

 

Al-Jabiri said his party's membership in the alliance is not more important than Iraq, and he would disengage himself from the list if it was for the sake of Iraq.

Source:
Aljazeera + Agencies
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