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Maliki Accused of Benefiting from Inter-Kurdish Disagreements | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Members of the Iraqi parliament gather to vote on Iraq’s new government at the parliament headquarters in Baghdad. (Reuters)

Baghdad – Head of Patriotic Union of Kurdistan Bloc Alaa Talbani was so eager to announce her no-confidence vote against Minister of Finance Hoshyar Zebari, that she raised her ballot high in the parliament although it was a secret vote.

Member of Kurdistan Democratic Party Arafat Akram said that what happened to Zebari was a political mockery and a political assassination attempt.

Concerning the vote of certain Kurdish MPs, Akram was surprised and said it was the first time that Kurdish deputies didn’t agree on a decision.

The issue doesn’t end here; it may even have just begun. At the time Nouri Maliki is being accused of using the inter-Kurdish conflicts for his personal interest to set old accounts straight with Kurdish leader Masoud Barzani, Maliki rejected all accusations and derogatory comments against him.

Maliki said that he will not rest until the last corrupted politician is out of the political process in Iraq.

While Maliki is presenting himself as the sponsor of reform, which began over a year ago with PM Haidar al-Abadi, MP Mouwafaq al-Rabiehi told Asharq Al-Awsat that he considers Zebari more of a minister of the division of shares than a corrupt official.

He added that Zebari is part of the division of shares that should be eradicated from the government. Thus, this matter lies within the hands of the Minister of Foreign Affairs Ibrahim al-Jaafari.

Over a month ago, Jaafari lost the head of National Council to head of Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq Ammar al-Hakim. Head of National Council is considered a symbolic position and ranks higher than the prime minister. Therefore, it will be hard for him to lose an important ministry like the foreign ministry.

What didn’t Rabiehi consider is that at the time resignation of certain ministers or no-confidence vote aims to overcome division of shares, division of shares itself still limits Abadi and prevents him from assigning new ministers.

Due to his disagreement with Badr bloc, Abadi is not able to assign a new minister following minister of Interior Mohammed al-Ghabban, who resigned months ago. Similarly, Abadi hadn’t been able to assign a new Minister of Defense following Khalid al-Obeidi at a time Iraqi Army undergoes heavy clashes with ISIS terrorist organization.

Kurdistan Democratic Party seems to only be concerned with throwing accusations at Maliki, whereas Maliki seems careless as he considered it a personal victory to sack Zebari.

On the issue, Maliki said that if any minister discharged for corruption was going to hold a press conference to give false allegations against the head of largest parliamentary bloc, then Maliki welcomes those abusive words until the last corrupt official is out of office.

Kurdish leader Arafat Akram said that Speaker Salim al-Jabbouri had collaborated with Maliki, yet MP Mohammed al-Karbouli said this was not true and Jabbouri had nothing to do with these issues. He added that as everyone knows, Jabbouri acts as the speaker of the parliament.

But, Akram said that what happened was a conspiracy led by Maliki with Jabbouri paving its way to topple Abadi’s government.

Akram pointed out that no one is answering what happened to $120 billion lost in Mosul during the time of Maliki. He feared that Iraq will turn into a tyrant state of single ideology.

For his part, MP of National Union Front Shuwwan Dawoudi said that the front agreed on a no-confidence vote against Zebari.

Commenting on the claims that Maliki is benefiting from the disagreements within the Kurdistan region, Dawoudi said that it is more appropriate to ask who caused them in the first place.