Friday, March 09, 2007

Fadhila says they're skeptical about Allawi and his friends

An Al-Hayat reporter took the trouble to call Jabar Khalifa, head of the Fadhila Party, for comments on the announcement about that party's exiting the UIA parliamentary coalition, so let's take the trouble to see what he said, even if it's not all crystal clear. The summary starts off with responses to a couple of comments by others: (1) A UIA person had said they were blindsided by this and would like to discuss with Fadhila having them rejoin the coalition. Khalifa said no, the decision is a final, irrevocable one. He explained the UIA experience has led to entrenching the principle of sectarian allocations as the basis of political administration, and this is the opposite of what Fadhila had in mind when they joined. (2) With respect to speculation about motives, Khalifa said the decision was not the result of pressure or of a desire to join with the recently-formed National Iraqi Front (Allawi et al).

Elaborating on why he thinks the UIA failed, he said: "The complicated procedures that were in use within the UIA very often prevented the party from being able to communicate its concepts and its aspirations to others. And in spite of those constraints, it didn't deviate from its explanations of its point of view with respect to the state of the country. " This is a tiny bit unclear to me, but I think he is saying the UIA's internal procedures hardened in such a way that it became unable to speak to Iraqis except in standard cliches. Something like that.

He takes another run at this, which I find a little clearer, as follows:
From the beginning, [he says], we had faith that our joining [in the UIA coalition] would lead to a melting away of that type of polarization that characterizes political blocs, once Parliament was formed, and [we had faith that it would turn out that] national reconciliation was what was behind the formation of the fronts. But [as matters turned out] sectarian confrontations came to be dominant, and the principle of [sect-based] allocations between the blocs was confirmed, and [parliament] split into a Shiite unit, and a second, Sunni unit, and a third, secular unit, and the result was that we have been unable to unite our efforts.
Then, after reiterating that this was irrevocable decision taken by the majority of Fadhila's members, and not some response to pressure, Khalifa goes on to talk about the Allawi story:
Respecting the repeated reports about the possibility of his party joining the Iraqi National Front [Allawi et al], Khalifa said: "There is no clear agreement with respect to joining the new front, in fact we view them with skepticism and misgivings, even if their public position is to end [the system of sectarian] allocations". Khalifa explained: "All of the blocs have claimed that as their program, but there hasn't been any actual application of it".
The journalist then summarizes remarks by Nassar Rubaie, the Sadrist liaison with the UIA, who said the Fadhila decision to exit the coalition wasn't a surprise, since they have been outliers from the very beginning, or words to that effect. Rubiae added one factor was their feeling of alienation, having had proposals rejected and having no prospect of a cabinet position in the coming cabinet-changes.

And Rubaie said the Fadhila exit won't affect stability of the UIA or the government, "because they assured us of their [continued] support for the current government, and they gave assurances that they won't enter into any new coalition." That is the Sadrist Rubaie speaking, not the Fadhila leader Khalifa.


Post a Comment

<< Home