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Allawi:"I Will Not Run in Next Election" - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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London, Asharq Al-Awsat-Secretary General of the Iraqi National Accord movement and head of the first post-Saddam Hussein Iraqi Government, Dr Iyad Allawi, has ruled out the possibility of nominating himself for the upcoming parliamentary election. He said that “the electoral process has always been subject to rigging and threats.” He added: “We were nominated for the previous election and won many votes, as admitted by the people and even by the Independent High Electoral Commission.” He went on: “However, we lost these votes as a result of rigging.”

In an interview with Asharq Al-Awsat over the telephone from Baghdad, and after presiding over a meeting for the Iraqi National List, which he heads, Allawi denied that “the Iraqi National List has formed a coalition with the Iraqi Islamic Supreme Council [IISC], under the leadership of Abdulaziz al-Hakim, or with the Unified Iraqi Coalition.” He said: “How can an organization or a movement form a coalition with a parliamentary bloc? The Iraqi National List is a parliamentary bloc and the IISC is a political movement. In a similar fashion, the Iraqi National Accord, which is a political movement, cannot form an alliance with a parliamentary bloc. However, it can ally with another equivalent bloc. The same applies to political movements and parties.” He added: “In general, no coalition has been formed between the Iraqi National Accord and the IISC, or between the Iraqi National List and the Unified Iraqi Coalition. This is due to the nature of our list’s inclinations, which are different from those of the Unified Iraqi Coalition.”

The head of the Iraqi National List admitted that his bloc has one alliance with the Al-Sahwah [awakening] List. He said: “Yes. There is an alliance between the Iraqi National List and the Al-Sahwah List, which is headed by brother Ahmad Abu-Rishah in Al-Anbar Governorate. This alliance is documented in writing and has been signed by both parties.” He added: “There are no other alliances or agreements between our list and any other list.”

Concerning the statement that Iraqi Member of Parliament Izzat al-Shabandar from the Iraqi National List made to Asharq Al-Awsat earlier this week that the Iraqi National List has formed an alliance with Al-Hakim against former Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, and that the IISC, the Kurds, and other forces are planning to topple Al-Maliki in Parliament by holding a no-confidence vote in his government, Allawi said: “I do not know what kind of plans to which Al-Shabandar was referring.” He added: “Al-Shabandar is a member of our list and he could have contacted us to learn the facts.” He explained: “We did not form an alliance with Al-Hakim, with whom we enjoy a good struggle-related relationship. This is unless Al-Shabandar has formed an alliance with the IISC without our knowledge.” He said that “passing a no-confidence vote against any government is a democratic procedure. Passing a no-confidence vote against this or that Iraqi Government is not a conspiracy or a scheme. It is a democratic practice that is approved by the Constitution.”

Allawi talked about the recent provincial elections. He said: “Unfortunately, a lot of rigging and obvious violations were involved in these elections. Nevertheless, the Independent High Electoral Commission took no action.” He added: “We do not expect the High Electoral Commission to act. During the previous election, a number of our comrades were assassinated and the noose was tightened around others. We filed well-documented complaints, yet no one took any action.”

The secretary general of the Iraqi National Accord movement described the current political situation in Iraq as “extremely bad.” He said: “I am talking to you from Baghdad, where we lack services and a good economic situation.” He noted that “it was claimed that 51 per cent of the Iraqis participated in the provincial council elections, whereas the truth is that 30 to 35 per cent of the Iraqis who are eligible to vote participated in the elections.” He added: “This is proof that the people are not satisfied with the electoral process and with the political parties and movements.” He went on: “The internal situation here is extremely tense and the voter turnout in the election reflects the Iraqi street’s opinion and the Iraqis’ dissatisfaction with the political situation in the country.”

Allawi described the government’s performance as “poor and still grounded on political quotas.” He added: “There is a very high level of administrative corruption and state services are penetrated.” He went on: “It has been almost four years since the government assumed power, yet so far, it has failed to build the army and national police, thus obliging it to form support councils and others.” He added: “This is a flawed phenomenon and the alternative is to build national services.” He said that “political and factional sectarianism are becoming deeply rooted. The relationship between the formations of the Iraqi people is unbalanced. People are viewed as Arabs, Kurds, Turkoman, and so on.”

The former Iraqi prime minister spoke about the relationship between the Kurds and the central government. He described this relationship as “unbalanced.” He said that “these relations require a change in track through calm dialogue.” He added: “Despite our belief in our Kurdish brothers’ right to a federal Kurdistan Region, we stress that the problems between them and Baghdad must be resolved in a calm and positive way.”

Concerning Iraqi Prime Minister Al-Maliki and his endeavor to amend the Constitution and strengthen the central government at the expense of the Kurdistan Region, Allawi said: “The Constitution must be reviewed, but not as suggested. The Constitution must be all-inclusive and must preserve the rights of all Iraqis rather than be a fabricated constitution.” He added: “Before they amend or reformulate the Constitution, they must pay attention to two important issues: the first is maintaining a stable security environment, and the second is preserving the livelihood of Iraqis and working towards improving their economic situation and income.”

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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