Iraq and Gulf Analysis

Hammudi Tapped for Leadership Role in Reviving the United Iraqi Alliance

Posted by Reidar Visser on Wednesday, 13 May 2009 23:59

According to a brief press release of today’s date described as “very important” by the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq (ISCI), Abd al-Aziz al-Hakim has charged another prominent ISCI figure, Humam Hammudi, with the job of reviving the (all-Shiite) United Iraqi Alliance (UIA). The communiqué lists the achievements of the UIA until this date but warns that Iraq’s future challenges, and especially the threat from insurgents (whether Islamists or Baathists), are such that no disunity between the UIA components can be allowed.

Of course, disunity inside the UIA has been the dominant theme since at least the summer of 2008 (when even its perceived centre began to crumble), to the point where the alliance today is almost defunct. But when Maliki in March tried to go ahead with forming provincial councils on an anti-ISCI platform and reached out to secularists and Sunni parties that are unfriendly with ISCI, criticism from inside the Shiite community (and most likely from Iran too) soon manifested itself. Going forward, the fate of Hammudi’s UIA mission will be an important indicator of what kind of political climate we can expect from the next parliamentary elections in Iraq, and above all whether the politics of fear will continue to prevail (more on the UIA revival scheme here).

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