Thursday, February 01, 2007

Political ground starting to shift in Iraq ?

Al-Hayat calls attention to the formation of groups originating within the Iraqi Accord Front (Sunni) and the UIA (Shiite) respectively, by parliamentary representatives who in both bases say or imply that they are unhappy with the prevailing sectarian polarization. The reporter introduces the story this way:
In an important sign of the beginning of the dismanteling of the political blocs that formed as a result of the American occupation, several deputies have started to break with traditional alliances, in favor of forming small groups, within the main blocs that have a sectarian model.
One of these initiatives has been started within the Accord Front, with the name "Iraqi Independents Group" and its leader explained:
The formation of this group is a result of the feeling of marginalization of some of the deputies, and a desire to express their opinions with greater freedom, particularly since we have a number of differences [with Accord Front leadership] respecting fundamental issues, including the question of discussions with groups that are still bearing arms and refuse participation in the political process. And there were also other reasons motivating this, the main one being the sectarian character of the Accord Front, and our desire to get away from the sectarian space, which has brought such suffering to our country.
He said the new group has 11 members from within the Accord Front. It has applied for recognition as an independent political party and plans to organize itself to run in the next national elections. He said the group will appoint a single spokesman to explain the group's positions inside and outside of parliament, and they will not permit the Accord Front to take positions on major issues without their agreement.

Along the same lines, the reporter says a group calling itself the Solidarity Bloc is forming within the United Iraqi Alliance (UIA; Shiite). Its leader Qasim Daoud told the reporter there will be an announcement about this next week, adding that the group will espouse a "complete national program" including restoration of basic services, imposition of respect for the state on the street, and so on. He said the group will include a large number of independents from within the UIA, adding its door will be open to others too.

The only comment the reporter adds is the introductory remark, noted above, about signs of the start of a process of dismemberment of the traditional alliances.


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