Sunday, October 15, 2006

Dramatic fallout from the federalism vote

The jihadis declare a Sunni state from Baghdad to Kirkuk, in response to the federalism vote; the main Sunni political coalition goes to court to challenge the legality of the federalism vote; Allawi's group "investigates" why its members facilitated the federalism vote; National Reconciliation meeting postponed indefinitely; and the Council for National Security meeting in continuous session.

The Mujahideen Shura Council, representing AlQaeda in Iraq and affiliates, announced the creation of an "Islamic Nation of Iraq" to include Baghdad, Al Anbar, Diyala (west and east of Baghdad respectively), Salahaddin, Kirkuk, Ninawa (to the north), and parts of Babil and Wasit provinces to the south of Baghdad. The announcement urged all Sunni leaders in these areas (religious and tribal and so on) to pledge allegiance to one Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, (an AlQaeda regional commander in Baghdad). The announcement said this is being done "following the evolution of a Kurdish nation in the north, and the decision on a federalism for the Rejectionists [Shiites] in the Center and the South, with the help of the Jews in the north, and the Safavids in the south". The announcement appeared on the right website to be considered authentic, and the newspaper al-Hayat today (Monday October 16) treats it as authentic, but there apparently hasn't been any actual confirmation.

Al-Hayat notes this is one part of the fallout from the disputed parliamentary vote last Wednesday approving prodedures for setting up federal regions. (See the earlier post called "Behind the contradictory numbers" Oct 12). In other fallout from that event, the newspaper says the Iraqi Accord Front, the main Sunni group that opposed the bill and boycotted the session, has filed a lawsuit with the constitutional court challenging the legality of the bill, alleging a number of violations of law during the procedure. A sopkesman for the Accord said his group was surprised by the whole proceeding, but particularly by the behavior of one of its own members (Mashhadani), who also happens to be Parliamentary speaker (and apparently was instrumental in making sure there was either the reality or the appearance of a there was a quorum present, before he too left the chamber to join the boycott).

And in a similar vein, the Iraqi List, led by former CIA asset Iyad Allawi, said it is going to hold its own "investigation" to see what reasons caused eight of its members to unexpectedly attend the session and vote for the bill, when Allawi had clearly instructed the group to join the boycott. On the day following the vote, both the newspapers Azzaman and al-Hayat pointed the finger at these Iraqi List members as having tipped the balance in favor of passage.

Meanwhile, faced with an escalation in sectarian slaughter, the Political Council for National Security said it is in continuous session since Sunday and continuing for the coming days, in order to keep track of the situation. And the Ministry for National Dialogue said a meeting in the National Reconciliation series, this one supposed to bring together "political groups", scheduled for October 21, has been postponed until further notice for unspecified reasons. See the earlier post on Sept 19 for some notes on the earlier meetings in this series.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you, ya badger. Invaluable stuff. Who are the members of Allawi's list that voted for Federalism, do you know?

4:02 AM  
Blogger badger said...

Some of them were:

Hamid Musa
Mahdi al-Hafiz
Wail abdul Latif
Safiyya al-Suhayl
Mufid al Jazairi

Musa, sec-general of the Communist Party, is quoted in the Hayat piece cited here with a long explanation why he says it was reasonable to vote for this.

8:21 PM  

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