CRITICAL TIMES FOR IRAQI DEMOCRACY
Ending Saddam’s regime resulted in the installation of an interim government led by Mr. Ayad Allawi in which all Iraq’s ethnic and religious communities were represented. This government held it’s first round of elections on January 30, 2005 to begin the process of writing a constitution.
On 15 December 2005 parliamentary elections were held which resulted in formation of government on May 20, 2006 led by Nouri Al Maliki of United Iraqi Alliance.
Iraq’s most recent elections occurred on 7 March, 2010 parliamentary elections were held to decide 325 members of the Council of Representatives of Iraq who will elect the Iraqi Prime Minister and President. The election resulted in a partial victory for the Iraqi National Movement, led by former Interim Prime Minister Ayad Allawi, which won a total of 91 seats, making it the largest alliance in the Council. The State of Law Coalition, led by incumbent Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki, was the second largest grouping with 89 seats.
Every one of the 3 post-Saddam era elections has been controversial. Prior to the most recent election in 2010, the Supreme Court in Iraq ruled that the existing electoral law/rule was unconstitutional, and a new elections law made changes in the electoral system. On 15 January 2010 Iraq’s electoral commission banned 499 candidates from the election due to alleged links with the Ba’ath Party, secret non-disbanded Saddam loyalists.
Recounting of the votes in Baghdad was ordered on 19 April 2010. On 14 May IHEC announced that after 11,298 ballot boxes had been recounted, there was ‘no sign of fraud or violations’. A political group should have 163 seats to have the majority. Mr. Allawi’s coalition has the most number of seats but they are just 2 more than the Shiite coalition led by Prime Minister Nouri Al Maliki. The rest of the seats are distributed in National Iraqi Alliance, Kurdistan Alliance and other small groups.
Mr. Allawi has already showed his desire to have the supreme post for which his party shall need to have to political coalition with other minor parties. He has already approached the National Iraqi Alliance to increase his bench strength. The workers and supporters of Iraqi National Party hold strong grudges against Mr. Allawi for his actions during the crushing of their militia in 2008.
Iraqi President Jalal Talabani had called for the first session of the new parliament which was be held on June 14, more than three months after inconclusive elections with 62.4% turn round that have yet to produce a government. In the first session the assembly shall elect the speaker and within next 45 days president, prime minister and the cabinet shall be finalized. As per the Iraqi constitution, had the parliament fails to reach to a consensus for the appointment of president and prime minister than a re-election was to follow.
The leaders of different coalition are under heavy pressure from outside world to break the deadlock and have a consensus on the formation of government. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has called on Iraq’s political leaders to move quickly to form an inclusive and representative government. Negotiations among the leaders of major coalition parties have already started. Mr. Allawi has desired to run the office as a result of winning the majority of seats.
Leaders from both the major parties should have to sit and formulate a solution for the present fiasco. A coalition government is the only option left to carry on the democratic process. With a recent upsurge in violence and no working government, concerns have grown recently about Iraq’s stability as the United States prepares to withdraw all its forces from the country by the end of next year.
Written by Darren Chabluk for http://DrDinar.com
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