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Iraq: Al-Iraqiya Members Oppose Nomination of Al-Maliki for Second Term | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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London, Asharq Al-Awsat- The Al-Iraqiya List, led by former Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi, “categorically” rejected a move for the outgoing Prime Minister and Leader of the State of Law Coalition Nuri Al-Maliki to serve another term as prime minister.

This rejection came from Muhammad Allawi, a leading figure in the Iraqi List and member of the List’s committee, which is entrusted with holding talks with other groups to reach a final formula for the formation of the next government.

He pointed out: “The Iraqi List has no objections to the person of Al-Maliki and does not act on the basis of a stand against the Dawa Party, which is led by the outgoing prime minister. Rather, we seek to assert the principle of a peaceful and democratic rotation of power.”

Speaking to Asharq Al-Awsat from Beirut by telephone, Allawi said: “We do not want to perpetuate the rule of one person, Al-Maliki, or the rule of one party, the Dawa Party. Acceptance of action for the current prime minister to serve a second term will mean taking Iraq backward.”

He added: “The Iraqis made a lot of great sacrifices. They turned up to cast their votes in the elections in order to establish the values of democracy. It will be impossible for us to return to the one-man rule after 35 years of suffering from the former regime’s domination and to return to another dictatorship.”

The leading figure in the Iraqi List said: “Al-Maliki resorted to various means to remain in power, such as the exclusion of hundreds of the Iraqi List members, insistence on annulling their votes, and then recounting the votes. The recount of votes did not change the fact that the Al-Iraqiya won the recent legislative elections. He also resorted to politicizing the judiciary.”

He added: “Had the United Nations not been present in Iraq, the election results would have been rigged. We wonder what Al-Maliki would do if he remained in power another four years.”

Allawi said: “The Al-Iraqiya will not agree to nominate al-Maliki to head the government. With our respect to his person and to his party, the Dawa, this insistence by us stems from our interest in the democratic system and peaceful rotation of power.”

He rejected the idea of “naming a compromise candidate, because this will sideline the votes of millions of Iraqis and slight their wishes.”

The leading figure in the Al-Iraqiya acknowledged that “Al-Maliki secured a large number of votes, and he must hold a senior post in the state.”

He said: “There is the post of parliament speaker, the post of president of the republic, and the posts of president of the Federal Council and National Security Council. These are constitutional positions. Accordingly, the leader of the State of Law Coalition must hold an important and constitutional post. We are against sidelining his role or sidelining the Dawa Party. However, we oppose his nomination for the post of prime minister.”

Allawi said that the national alliance, which brought together the State of Law Coalition and the Iraqi National Alliance, led by Ammar al-Hakim, head of the Iraqi Islamic Supreme Council, “does not make the two groups the largest parliamentary bloc because this alliance was not previously registered with the Independent High Electoral Commission.”

He added: “Besides, the Federal Court has no powers to register such an alliance. Moreover, we are not interested in the Federal Court’s opinion of the largest bloc and its interpretation of [the constitution’s] Clause 76.”

He continued: “The Federal Court did not pass a ruling, Rather, it gave its opinion without referring to the audio and video documents that we produced. These documents show the constitution drafting committee asserting that the winning bloc must form a government.”

The leading figure in the Al-Iraqiya called on “the Federal Court to go back to the legislators who drafted the constitution and to verify the documents that are in the possession of the constitution drafting committee and our documents.”

He said: “Besides, the Federal Court flounders and contradicts itself. At first, it gave its opinion in the interpretation of Clause 76, even though interpretation of the constitution is not within its jurisdiction. Then, it said that this interpretation or opinion was a ruling. It is known that people resort to the Federal Court to resolve controversial issues, and the constitution’s clause is not controversial.”

Allawi said: “Al-Maliki wagers on the time element. He believes that his or the Dawa Party’s insistence will make the rest of the political forces submit to his will. This will not happen.”

He added: “We consider the Kurdistan Alliance and the Iraqi National Alliance our allies. We will not abandon them, and no government will be formed without them. It is important for Al-Maliki and the Dawa Party to be convinced of the need to give up this insistence, which will delay the formation of a government and the political process as a whole.”

For his part, a source in the Iraqi National Alliance expressed their objection too to the nomination of Al-Maliki to head the next government.

The source said: “Alliance with the State of Law Coalition does not mean that we should submit to the insistence by the leader of the State of Law Coalition on remaining in his post. This means weakening all other political forces, especially the Iraqi Islamic Supreme Council and the Al-Sadr Trend, which promised its grassroots that it will not agree on the renewal of Al-Maliki’s term in office.”

The source noted: “A lot of the Al-Sadr Trend followers are victims. Some of them have been arrested and others’ homes have been raided by government forces. They will not allow a move for the outgoing prime minister to serve a second term.”

The source, who chose not to give his name, said: “We have confirmed information that Al-Maliki, in his efforts to establish alliance with the Iraqi List, planned to exclude the Iraqi National Alliance, namely the Al-Sadr Trend, from the composition of the next government. We know that the brothers in the Iraqi List rejected such efforts.”

The source warned: “Al-Maliki’s insistence on remaining as prime minister will delay the formation of a new government, and this delay serves his interest and the interest of the current ministers. This government is not subject to the parliament’s supervision. It acts with full powers, and this is an anomalous situation that we do not accept.”

The source said: “Trade contracts are signed, funds are disbursed, and ministers are forced to resign, as was the case with the ministers of electricity and transport who were replaced by other ministers. Such measures are illegal and unconstitutional, particularly in the absence of a parliament.”

The source added: “In addition to all of the above, there is a secret budget provision amounting to $100 million a month at the disposal of the prime minister. This budget too is not subject to accountability by the parliament or any supervision.”