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Iraq: Who's Going to be the Next Prime Minister?

Although the Iraqi parliamentary elections took place in the 7th of March, the two major blocs according to the poll results, are still not able to agree on a single candidate to be named as the new prime minister. The current prime minister Nouri Al Maliki claimed that there were frauds in the electoral process. However, the electoral commission finally ratified the results and confirmed that Al Maliki claims are found to be not true.

“More than two months after Iraq's parliamentary polls, the electoral commission says it has ended a partial recount and found no cases of fraud”, noted Iraqi Mojo.

Iraqi Pundit wrote about the official final results that confirmed Ayad Allawi's Iraqiya list win. He also pointed out how such important news was shadowed by other incidents such as “Who has control on the Green Zone Checkpoints” and “the Israeli raid on the Gaza aid boat“:

Iraq's supreme court ratified the results of the March 7 election, officially ruling that Ayad Allawi's Iraqiya list won the vote. The announcement has almost gone unnoticed. The focus here is more on the Green Zone checkpoints, which are under Iraqi control as of today. And, of course, people are still talking about the Israeli raid on the Gaza aid boat.

Iraqi Pundit continued to wonder in another post if such an announcement means that the Iraqi major blocs are going to agree on a candidate, or whether they will continue their negotiations for two more months:

The politicians say they will get their act together within days. We've heard this before, but we hope they mean it this time. Nouri Al Maliki still says he will not step down from the prime minister's chair. He looks pathetic because the high court certified the March 7 election results and declared Ayad Allawi the man with the most seats in parliament.

He also wondered about the expected alliances and agreements that might be set between the different parties of the Iraqi political game:

Maliki says he formed a union with the INA, but he and the Shiite alliance have yet to come to an agreement on a nominee for prime minister. And of course that's because Maliki says he is the only candidate. Allawi has kept himself busy meeting with Kurds, Sistani, and even the Sadr gang. Haider Al Mullah, a member of the Allawi list, said today that they might nominate Adel Abdul Mahdi for prime minister. If that story is true, it would mean that Allawi pulled the rug out from under Maliki's feet. Of course this is Iraq, and anything can happen.

Iraq and Gulf Analysis blog decided to go for a “what-if” scenario, and foresee what might happen if the two major blocs failed to agree on a single candidate. They started with a statement by Bahaa al-Aaraji, the Sadrist politician, regarding this deadlock:

Particularly interesting are statements by Bahaa al-Aaraji, the Sadrist politician. He recently told media that in the case the two Shiite-led blocs, the Iraqi National Alliance (INA) and State of Law (SLA), failed to agree on a single candidate, there would be a run-off between multiple candidates by way of a secret ballot in parliament!
This is in fact pure fantasy on the part of Aaraji. Or he may be mixing it up with the procedures for electing the president, which are similar to what he described (except that there is no requirement for secrecy). If INA and SLA have no single candidate then by definition they are unable to supply “the candidate of the biggest bloc” called for under the constitution (in the singular!) and no matter how one interprets the concept of “biggest bloc”, Iraqiyya should be charged with forming the government since they at least have a candidate.

They then jumped to another suggestion by Izzat Shabandar of SLA:

Also Izzat Shabandar of SLA (a defector from Iraqiyya) has suggested that if INA and SLA cannot agree on a single candidate, the other blocs will get involved in deciding who the prime minister candidate should be, supposedly “in line” with the latest ruling by the federal supreme court on the matter! (In actual fact, it says nothing of the kind).
Again, this would violate the constitution, which clearly specifies a procedure in which the matter is settled between the president and one specific candidate put forward by the biggest bloc.

While Iraq and Gulf Analysis continued to analyze the different possibilities, the journalists of Inside Iraq decided to get down to the streets and see the people's opinion regarding the elections:

Since the last parliamentary election in March, Iraqis have been waiting for the announcement of forming the new government.
After more than three months of waiting, I tried to know the opinions of my people about Iraqis’ most important issue. I talked to more than twenty people in more than eight provinces. They all said the same things. I chose the opinions of four people only. For security reasons, I will write only the first name of the people whom I’m quoting.

In fact, I believe out of those four quoted persons, Hussein, who works as a Taxi driver in El-Basra province was able to sum up the opinion of most of the Iraqi people:

“Iraq will never improve and our life will never get better because our politicians care only about their interests. We made a big mistake when we participated in the last election. Our politicians will not form the government even within the two coming months because they still negotiate about the share of each party as if Iraq is their heritage. I am sure the coming government will fail and it will tell us the same excuses of the last one. There is no hope at all”, Hussein.

Finally while the politicians continue their fight for the eleventh week, Baghdad was named the worst place to live in the world. Iraqi Pundit commented on the news in a new post in his blog under the name, No Honour, Plenty of Shame. He wrote:

While the politicians continue their fight for the eleventh week, Austria's capital city Vienna was named the best place to live in the world and Baghdad the worst. The local news reports here said that Baghdad did not rank at the bottom because of security reasons as much as for the absence of electricity and clean drinking water. The political types really have no shame. The local news reports here said that Baghdad did not rank at the bottom because of security reasons as much as for the absence of electricity and clean drinking water. The political types really have no shame.

  • Rachel Page

    In August, the Iraqi judiciary resolved a six-month controversy concerning a law passed to limit the terms of the president, prime minister and parliament speaker in an attempt to
    prevent current Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki from running for another term. San Antonio Debt Relief

  • Eric Wright

    The key question remains, however, of how smooth the process of picking
    Iraq’s next prime minister will be after this month’s elections.

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