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Plan to Topple Al-Maliki’s Government Revealed | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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London, Asharq Al-Awsat-Ezzat Al Shahbandar, a member of the Iraqi Parliament for the Iraqi National List Party that is led by Iyad Allawi revealed to Asharq Al-Awsat “the presence of a plan to topple Nouri Al-Maliki’s government via parliament.” Speaking about the crisis caused by the resignation of Mahmoud Al Mashhadani from the position of Parliamentary Speaker in December, Al Shahbandar said “Al Maliki will strongly be against the appointment of Ayad Al Samarrai as Parliamentary Speaker, who is not standing independently, but is being put forward by the Iraqi Islamic party that holds four positions in the Iraqi government.”

Al Shahbandar informed Asharq Al-Awsat via telephone that the crisis represents “an extension to the quota system that divided power between the parties in Iraq, but over the past year the coalitions that shared power and made governmental appointments have ceased to exist.”

He added “Things have changed this year since the Al Maliki wing has begun to court the Iraqi Front for National Dialogue, abandoning the quota system, and seeking to be rid of constitutional constraints, therefore the quota system is no longer the solution with regards to power-sharing”

Al Shahbandar went on to say that “The Iraqi Islamic Party candidate, Ayad Al Samarrai, is part of a coalition between the Kurds and the Supreme Council and other powers, who are openly seeking to limit Al Maliki’s role, or even remove him from power through a parliamentary vote of no-confidence in his government.”

As for the attitude of the Iraqi National List Party with regards to the Parliamentary Speaker, Al Shahbandar said “The National List’s position is along the lines of the political position in general which views the Speakership as part of political bargaining, and is therefore part of the political power struggle, which also means the power struggle with the government.”

He added “Allying with Al Maliki now would mean standing against Abdul Aziz Al Hakim, President of the Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council, while standing with Al Hakim would mean taking a position against Al Maliki. It is well known that Allawi is on his way to ally with Al Hakim, or has already done so.”

In addition to this, the head of the Parliamentary Kurdish Alliance, Fouad Masoum said “For almost two months we have not succeeded in holding elections for the speakership, this is a parliamentary failure since the procedural rules say that a Speaker should be chosen in the first parliamentary meeting following his resignation or dismissal.”

He added “what is currently happening in the parliament is like a conflict in order to break bones; each bloc wants to break the bones of the other [blocs]”

Masoum also said “There are those who want the appointment of a weak Iraqi Speaker, but we of the Kurdish bloc are not of this view. This view is held by the Iraqi Accord Front who have nominated several candidates [for the speakership], but we have found that Al Samarrai’s nomination is the only one that will be accepted.”

He went on to say that “elections for the speakership will take place on Thursday, and the speaker should be an Arab Sunni, if there is no agreement with regards to Al Samarrai’s appointment, then the parliament will vote on another candidate.”

Adnan Al-Dulaimi, the leader of the Iraqi Accord Front revealed that “the strongest candidate so far is Ayad Al Samarrai, the Iraqi Islamic party candidate” but that “the proposal to dissolve parliament is a good idea, but not possible.”

Al Dulaimi added “The appointment of a weak parliamentary speaker is not in the interests of Iraq. We need a strong speaker to control the meetings, for there are a large number of meetings that take place at the 11th hour, and a quorum is usually not reached until after more than two hours have passed. Indeed most quorums do not occur in the parliament, and there are some members of parliament who sign in the morning then leave the parliamentary building.”