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Nujaifi: Iraq is at Crossroads and Maliki is to be Blamed - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Baghdad- The incident of protesters storming the Iraqi parliament is still vivid as is still complicating the political crisis. The situation became more complicated because the Parliament is divided, the Kurdish bloc is boycotting, and there are ministers who haven’t take the constitutional oath.

Former Iraqi Speaker and Vice President Osama al-Nujaifi blamed the head of parliament and cabinet for breaking into the parliament. Al-Nujaifi added that it is not a taboo to discuss the change of prime minister.

With respect to the security situation in Iraq, al-Nujaifi said this is the most dangerous stage of Iraq’s history. Al-Nujaifi discussed many other issues in his exclusive interview with Asharq Al-Awsat.

Al Nujaifi believed that there isn’t a state in Iraq in its conventional meaning. He explained that when there are weapons everywhere, innocent people in prisons, obstruction of justice, and ISIS in several districts, we can’t speak of a state in Iraq. Al-Nujaifi explained that the government should work on those problems to gain the respect of the Iraqi people and the world.

In regard to the incident of protesters storming the parliament, al-Nujaifi believed that it happened with the purpose of suspending the parliament and causing chaos. He explained that the way it happened was strange with citizens entering freely while the security forces stood by.

When asked how he would have dealt with the invasion had he been the speaker, al-Nujaifi said that he would have taken a series of procedures to ensure the safety of the parliament and its members including using protection and moving the meeting to another location.

Al-Nujaifi blamed the speaker and alliances inside the parliament for the chaos in the country.

He believed that 13 years are enough to build a state had it been up to the right people. He mentioned that the prime minister makes sure that the power remains within the hands of a single party hence the failure in all aspects.

When asked about current Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi, al-Nujaifi said that he believes the PM was not successful in running the country and hasn’t been able to solve any of its problems.

As a former speaker, al-Nujaifi said that the current parliament is different than the previous one and is not able to work independently. He described the legislative authority as secondary to the executive authority.

He also explained that the current alliances and blocs are also different as there are disputes within the blocs themselves causing divisions. Yet, he described the Forces Alliance as united despite different points of view.

Al-Nujaifi said that the bloc is currently studying the idea of nominating another speaker but hasn’t decided yet.

Al-Nujaifi believed that the prime minister was not constitutional in the way he came to power.

He described the situation in Iraq as difficult yet hopeful.

When asked about weapons outside government control, al-Nujaifi said that they are illegal. He said that when ISIS entered Iraq, some forces like Popular Mobilization Forces were legalized and controlled by laws, while others weren’t. He explained that some forces like Iraqi Hezbollah kidnap soldiers and overtake military vehicles.

Al-Nujaifi admitted that some political forces are trying to weaken the Sunnis in Iraq and target them politically and their security.

In response to the initiative of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud to support internally displaced citizens, al-Nujaifi expressed gratitude to the monarch for always supporting Iraq.