Thursday, January 01, 2009


The Iraqi paper AlMashriq published two important political stories yesterday (Wednesday Dec 31), the first highlighting remarks by Saleh AlMutlak (head of the National Dialog Council party to which former Parliamentary speaker Mashhadani also belongs), and by Sami AlAskari (a Dawa party politician thought to be close to Maliki) to the effect that there is a move afoot to topple the Maliki administration in parliament, a move of which the removal of Speaker Mashhadani was the first step. Askari had said in a speech earlier this week that Mashhadani was forced out as parliamentary speaker, and that he had "paid the price" for his refusal to go along with a plan to propose a motion of no confidence in Maliki in parliament. The plan, Askari said, was hatched at the Dec 10 in Dukan in the north between the representatives of the Kurdish alliance, the Islamic Party, and the SupremeCouncil. Mutlak's accusation was reported as follows:
[Mutlak] accused the Supreme Council, the Islamic Party and the Kurds of attempting to topple Prime Minister Maliki as part of a move to effect big domestic changes. Mutlak described the changes that some of the political parties have in mind as "not appropriate" and he urged leaving Maliki in place for the time being.
The second of the two stories says sources--including representatives of the Iraqi List and the Sadr trend--have said there are serious efforts under way, given additional impetus following the resignation of Mashhadani, to do two things: (1) institute meaningful parliamentary reforms (including the idea of a revolving Parliamentary speakership, and reforms that would give Parliament meaningful oversight over the executive branch); and (2) set up internal procedures within the so-called coordinating council (another name for the July 22 movement) to enable it to make effective use of its 100-plus membership in parliament. The main idea being to face up to and oppose the plans of the "big coalitions", referring to the five-party governing coalition.

AlHayat this morning (Thursday January 1) lost no time in contacting representatives of each of the parties in the five-party governing coalition, all of whom denied there is any plan to topple Maliki. For background, the AlHayat reporter reviews the statements of Askari from earlier this week, which appear to be the main source for the toppling-of-Maliki anxiety. The five-party coalition people said the whole topple-Maliki story is something that has been concocted by certain parties "for electoral purposes."

The AlHayat story doesn't say anything about the other arm of this story, namely the reported moves by the July 22 group to set up internal procedures to make themselves felt more effectively in Parliament in order to oppose the five-party coalition; and to propose meaningful Paliamentary reform.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mutlaq helped found the "Iraqi National Dialogue Council" along with Khalaf al-Ulayyan but then broke off and started his own "Iraqi National Dialogue Front." (Looks like he got "creative" when it came to the semantics of his new "grouping.")

So Mashhadani is not in Mutlaq's party.

11:53 AM  
Blogger badger said...

you're right, I stand corrected

Btw, there is some more on this at the current post by LB at RoadstoIraq. Also, Visser had the scoop on the Askari speech of a few days ago on his Notebook section at

12:21 PM  
Blogger Dancewater said...

Happy New Year to you Badger, and thank you for all you do.

I hope it is a better year this year for Iraq and for Palestine and for all oppressed people of the world.

11:41 PM  

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