London, Asharq al-Awsat- Salih al-Mutlak, the leading figure in Al-Iraqiya List that is led by the former Prime Minister Iyad Allawi, has threatened the withdrawal of their coalition, which won 91 seats in the next Iraqi parliament in the recent legislative elections, from “the entire peace process and to take to the streets to side with the Iraqis and lead massive demonstrations and sit-ins and to call for a general civil disobedience if the arbitrary measures against the List, its members, and its supporters were not stopped.”
Speaking to Asharq Al-Awsat by telephone from Amman yesterday, Al-Mutlak said: “The List’s leaders held a meeting yesterday (the day before yesterday) in the presence of Allawi and we decided to internationalize our cause which is the Iraqi people’s cause and to appeal to the world to intervene to salvage the political process and democratic course in Iraq.” He pointed out that “the measures which want to exclude several List members who won in the elections, prevent them from coming to the parliament, and confiscate the voters’ votes are all of them scenarios aimed at prolonging the term of the outgoing government, pressuring Al-Iraqiya List to make concessions in the talks for forming the next government, and confiscating our constitutional and legitimate right to form the government since we are the winning list.” A special judicial court decided to hold a manual recount in all the Baghdad’s polling stations following appeals from the State of Law Coalition that is led by Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki. It also decided to cancel the results of 52 candidates in the elections held on 7 March in implementation of the decisions taken by the Debathification Commission which is led by Ahmad Chalabi, the candidate from the Iraqi National Alliance, among them 22 from Al-Iraqiya List. One of these, the brother of Al-Mutlak, won in the elections. The cases of nine other candidates are still waiting to be looked at by the judicial body, among them six from Al-Iraqiya List.
Al-Mutlak, who leads the National Dialogue Front that is part of “Al-Iraqiya” coalition, called “for forming a caretaker government or an emergency one since the incumbent one’s term in office has expired and is not accountable to or supervised by parliament since the Iraqi House of Representatives’ term has also expired. This government has also persisted with its rabid powers by arresting the innocent and insulting and persecuting them.” He added that “(Al-Iraqiya) will go further than they want in the issue of the elections results and we have expressed our willingness to form a neutral emergency government that supervises the holding of new elections, a government that does not side with any party, does not use public funds in its elections campaigns, and does not arrest or torture the voters.”
He described the measures taken by the Accountability and Justice Commission and the judicial decision “an operation of ethnic and demographic cleansing being carried out in Baghdad and other areas” and noted that “Iraqi justice has regrettably descended to the politicians’ will and reached a stage of descent that it has not reached during its long and honest history and the reason is that it and its members’ families came under threats from the militias and the authority.” He criticized “the stand of the Iraqi political entities that are just watching what is happening” and explained this “as the wishes of some of these political entities to see Al-Iraqiya List weakened so that they can get the chance to bring their candidates to the prime minister’s post.” He added that “weakening Al-Iraqiya is in the interest of many political parties because it has the constitutional right to form the government.”