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Political Egoism in Iraq - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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The Iraqi elections ended two months ago. Saddam’s regime was overthrown more than two years ago. Yet, personal egoism and party interests still govern the conduct of Iraqi politicians. How else can we explain the indecision and disagreement surrounding the naming of a new Prime Minister?

To make matters worse, the dispute is not occurring between different competitive groups but within a single collation, the United Iraqi Alliance. Conflicts between its different factions and figures have paralyzed the political process and lead to a further loss of time.

Iraq’s people do not deserve this. They have done their duty and withstood terrorism, mismanagement and the lack of services. They stood courageously in election queues in spite of the terrorist threats. They should not be rewarded in this manner.

The public image of Iraqi politicians has been shaken because of their self-centeredness and partisan politics. It is clear that the dispute does not revolve around which candidate is most qualified for the job but about who has the most backing. Even the suggestion that members of the UIA vote to decide the identity of the next premier has been blocked by personal and party interests.

I fear this mentality will continue to prevail even after a new prime minister is appointed and will spread to the selection of ministers so that partisanship prevails instead of ability. In this case, it might spread further to taint ministerial aides and executive directors. Iraqis will find themselves faced with a quota system that is unable to govern the country but will permit favoritism and corruption to spread. Within this environment, it is difficult to speak of a modern country or a democratic regime.

The other problem is that conflicts between parties outside the Coalition impede the creation of an alternative and the situation remains paralyzed. Selfishness continues to prevail, the party remains more important than the country and the individual than the rest of the public.