September 3, 2010 |
After months of bickering, a main political rival of Prime Minister Nouri Maliki named a candidate to head the next Iraqi government, a move that poses a new obstacle to the incumbent and is likely to further complicate formation of the government. Maliki has been banking on disagreements among his competitors to allow him to win a second term. But the Iraqi National Alliance coalition named a current vice president, Adel Abdul Mehdi, as its choice. The alliance includes two of the country's main Shiite Muslim political factions, Mehdi's Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq and cleric Muqtada Sadr's movement.
August 16, 2010 |
A major U.S. diplomatic push aimed at promoting a coalition government between the top two vote-getters in Iraq's inconclusive national elections suffered a setback Monday when former Prime Minister Iyad Allawi broke off negotiations with his nearest rival, Prime Minister Nouri Maliki. Allawi's Iraqiya bloc, which narrowly came in first in the March voting, announced it was suspending talks with Maliki's State of Law bloc until Maliki apologizes for a comment in a TV interview aired Monday in which he described Iraqiya as a Sunni bloc.
July 5, 2010 |
Vice President Joe Biden met with Iraq's two front-runners for prime minister on Sunday and expressed unhappiness over the slow pace for forming the next government, according to Iraqi politicians. Biden, who spent the morning with U.S. forces on the Fourth of July, shuttled between afternoon meetings with Prime Minister Nouri Maliki and secular politician Iyad Allawi, whose Iraqiya coalition won the single largest number of seats in parliament, 91, compared with the Maliki bloc's 89 in elections nearly four months ago. Since the national vote, both Iraqi leaders have insisted that they earned the right to head the next government.
July 4, 2010 |
Vice President Joe Biden, the White House point man on Iraq policy, arrived in Baghdad on Saturday for meetings with the two front-runners in slow-moving negotiations to lead the Iraqi government as U.S. troops pull out. Iraqis voted on March 7, and there are widespread expectations that naming a prime minister and forming a new government could take many more weeks. In the meantime, a sense of uncertainty pervades the country and U.S. troops are in the process of drawing down to a total of 50,000 by the end of August.
May 9, 2010 |
Since the success of the 2007 surge in Iraq, violent attacks have fallen more than 90% and Iraqis have been making steady progress toward stability and democracy. That momentum is now threatened by the actions of Iraq's prime minister, Nouri Maliki, and by the inaction of the Obama administration. Maliki, whom I met a week ago as part of a delegation from the Council on Foreign Relations, is refusing to accept the results of the March 7 elections. They are not to his liking. His aides had told him that his State of Law slate could expect to win 110 seats in the Council of Representatives.
May 5, 2010 |
Iraq's two Shiite Muslim political blocs, both with close ties to neighboring Iran , announced the formation late Tuesday of a coalition with a strong chance at forming a new government after inconclusive March 7 elections, state television reported. "After continuous talks…based on joint national principles…both coalitions have agreed to announce the formation of a single parliamentary bloc," said a statement read by Abdul-Razzaq Kadhimi, a member of former Prime Minister Ibrahim Jafari's coalition and a onetime advisor to him. The new bloc combines the seats of the State of Law coalition, led by incumbent Prime Minister Nouri Maliki , and Jafari's Iraqi National Alliance, which includes the movement of radical cleric Muqtada Sadr . The announcement Tuesday left unresolved the question of who would lead the new coalition, though Maliki remains a strong contender.
May 4, 2010 |
Iraqi election officials on Monday launched a recount of votes cast in Baghdad during March elections but almost immediately drew fire from a key supporter of Prime Minister Nouri Maliki, whose party initially requested the second tally. The dispute further dimmed prospects for the quick formation of a new government. Iraq's independent election commission said it would take "two weeks or even three" to finish the recount. Iraqis and Western observers fear stretching out the formation of the new government could further allow security to deteriorate and endanger a plan to pull about 50,000 American troops out of the country by September.
May 3, 2010 |
Among all the candidates being touted for the prime minister's job in the next Iraqi government, one stands out for his near-total lack of political experience. Jaafar Sadr, 40, has spent his entire adult life as a student, in Baghdad, in Najaf, in the Iranian city of Qom, where he pursued religious studies under ayatollahs, and most recently in Beirut, where he is close to earning a bachelor's degree in sociology and anthropology. But Sadr's heritage puts him in the ranks of aristocracy, at least by Iraqi Shiite Muslim standards.
May 1, 2010 |
Iraq's prime minister dismissed his rival's call for international help to resolve the country's postelection political crisis as the dispute threatens to inflame rifts and undermine American plans for withdrawal. In a televised speech Friday, Prime Minister Nouri Maliki, whose political bloc finished a close second behind former premier Iyad Allawi's slate in the March 7 elections, alleged that "regional, international" players were attempting a coup d'etat against his government.
April 28, 2010 |
Former Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi demanded that an internationally backed caretaker government be formed and new national elections be held, if an Iraqi court continues to bar parliamentary candidates from his slate from taking office. The comments by Allawi, whose slate won more parliament seats than any other political list in the March elections, underscored a deepening conviction within his coalition that Prime Minister Nouri Maliki's Shiite Muslim-dominated alliance is trying to erode his slate's lead by any means possible.