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All Sovereign Posts Are Subject to Negotiations- Al-Iraqiya Official - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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London, Asharq Al-Awsat- Maysun al-Damluji, the official spokeswoman of the Al-Iraqiya Coalition led by former Iraqi Prime Minster Dr. Iyad Allawi, has stated that, “All the sovereign posts are subject to negotiations, including the posts of president of the republic, prime minister of the government, and speaker of the House of Representatives.” She noted, “There is nothing firm, and Al-Iraqiya is sticking to its electoral and constitutional right to form the next government”

Regarding the recently proposed idea that the post of president of the republic be given to Allawi with added security and economic powers, the spokeswoman said, “All proposals are negotiable.” Asked whether this meant that Al-Iraqiya is accepting the nomination of Nuri al-Maliki, leader of the State of Law Coalition and outgoing prime minister, as prime minister of the next government, she said, “I did not mention the name of Al-Maliki. Our decision not to participate in a government headed by Al-Maliki is firm, and we will not go back on it. There are proposed names other than the name of Al-Maliki.” She was referring to the possibility that Dr. Adel Abdel-Mahdi, the vice president and a leader of the Islamic Supreme Council led by Ammar al-Hakim, would be the candidate of the Iraqi National Coalition to head the next government, and that the presidency of the republic would be given to Allawi with some added powers.

The spokeswoman told Asharq Al-Awsat by telephone from Baghdad, “No nomination for the sovereign posts has been made yet. All the possibilities can be negotiated at the table of dialogue to which Masud Barzani, president of the Kurdistan Region, had called.” She noted that the coalition “strongly supports the initiative of President Barzani, and we are trying to make it a reality so that the four election winning parties can sit together and reach a formula to form a genuine national partnership government.”

The spokeswoman denied the existence of any dialogue with Al-Maliki’s coalition. She said, “The State of Law Coalition has not responded to the national reform paper that we submitted to it. They also have not explained to us how they viewed a national partnership government and its functioning mechanisms and what guarantees exist that the mistakes made by the previous government of exclusion, marginalization, arrests, and distancing Iraq from its Arab incubator would not be repeated.”

Regarding the statements of Al-Maliki coalition leaders that they would announce the formation of a government next week and that “the issue of the presidency of the republic has been decided in favor of President Jalal Talabani and the premiership of the government in favor of Al-Maliki,” the spokeswoman said, “We in the Al-Iraqiya Coalition would have nothing to do with such a government. We would not recognize it. We won the largest number of seats in the House of Representatives and this gives us the right to form the government. No party can deny these facts, marginalize us, or marginalize the Iraqi people who voted for the program of change presented by the Al-Iraqiya and for the leaders and members of the List who express their affiliation to all Iraq. Our List is not sectarian or fanatic pan-Arab. It represents the national option.”

The official spokeswoman of the Iraqiya Coalition described the statements of Ali al-Adib, a leader in the Al-Maliki coalition and in his party (Al-Dawa), in which he said that “Al-Iraqiya is not united, but is controlled from outside and has links to foreign countries” as “inappropriate. Such remarks do not contribute to the building of the required trust between the political blocs to speed up the formation of a government.” She noted, “The Iraqi citizen knows in which capitals decisions are made and which countries are influencing the formation of the government, pressuring whomever they want to support their candidates, and placing red lines on national figures that do not fit their plans.” She called “on all the political forces, in the name of the Al-Iraqiya Coalition, to rationalize their statements and not be drawn down the path of quarrels and insults, which increase the tension between the blocs and frustration among the Iraqi people and only serve those who make them.”

Al-Damluji strongly rejected “the language of threats used by some members of the State of Law Coalition, which is an attempt to cover up their problem of failing to reach a clear understanding about the national partnership.” She affirmed, “The Al-Iraqiya is the strongest and most united political bloc. It has a united position and its studied decisions are made collectively and not by one person.” She said that the Al-Iraqiya leaders held a meeting Sunday attended by Allawi, Vice President Tariq al-Hashimi, Deputy Prime Minister Rafi al-Issawi, Osama al-Nujayfi, and Muhammad Allawi and “discussed the political crisis and ways to save Iraq and the Iraqis from it.”

Asked about the threat of the Kirkuk Arabs and Turkmen to withdraw from Al-Iraqiya if it accepted the Kurdish demands with regard to the problem of their city, the spokeswoman said, “Al-Iraqiya believes that the problem of Kirkuk should be solved by the Arab, Turkmen, and Kurds of Kirkuk. Kirkuk is not the property of Al-Iraqiya or any party other than its people, and they alone make the decision.”

The spokeswoman revealed, “The talks between our bloc and the Islamic Supreme Council are proceeding well. We will have a meeting with them today (yesterday) and another tomorrow (today). Al-Iraqiya will also meet tomorrow (today) with a Kurdish delegation to discuss our response to their proposals. We said in previous statements that we have no reservations about them. We have dealt positively with its 19 points.” She noted, “The existence of in-depth dialogues with the brother Kurds and that Dr. Allawi would soon visit the Kurdistan Region to meet with President Barzani.” Maysun al-Damluji did not seem optimistic about the formation of a government soon and said, “We are not expecting an imminent date to form the government. The longer it takes, the more difficult and complicated matters would become.”

Iraqi Vice President Adel Abdel-Mahdi, a leader of the Islamic Supreme Council, has described the dialogues with the Al-Iraqiya Coalition as “advanced and contain many common bases. No specific obstacle is facing them. But the problem is not between the Al-Iraqiya and us only. There are other blocs, like the State of Law and the Kurdistan blocs. These understandings should be conveyed to the other forces to take joint stands on this issue.” Abdel-Mahdi expressed his support for Barzani’s initiative. In press statements yesterday during his participation in a ceremony marking the fifth anniversary of the referendum on the constitution, he said, “We believed from the beginning that a round-table meeting or at least a meeting of the four winning forces should be the start for holding meetings of the House of Representatives or forming the government. The round table is still a good and appropriate choice for finding a solution to the political crisis facing the country.”

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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