Iraq and Gulf Analysis

Archive for June 12th, 2010

The Fourteen Wise Men

Posted by Reidar Visser on Saturday, 12 June 2010 15:45

It is being reported that the Iraqi National Alliance (INA) has now nominated its 7 representatives to the so-called committee of wise men charged with selecting a premier candidate for the would-be Shiite alliance referred to as “The National Alliance”. The full list  is supposed to be as follows, with party affiliations added:

SLA representatives

1. Tareq al-Najm (Daawa)

2. Abd al-Halim al-Zuhayri (Daawa)

3. Hassan al-Sunayd (Daawa)

4. Ali al-Adib (Daawa)

5. Khudayr al-Khuzai (Daawa/Tanzim al-Iraq)

6. Khalid al-Atiyya (Independent bloc)

7. Hussein al-Shahristani (Independent bloc)

INA representatives

1. Nassar al-Rubayie (Sadrist)

2. Amir al-Kinani (Sadrist)

3. Bahaa al-Aaraji (Sadrist)

4. Humam Hamudi (ISCI)

5. Hamid Muala (ISCI)

6. Falih al-Fayyad (Islah/Jaafari)

7. Hassan al-Shammari (Fadila)

The list shows striking similarities with the previous list of 10 men, in particular as far as the SLA contingent is concerned. There is continuity among the strong Daawa group, with additions of two representatives of the numerically insignificant (6 deputies in parliament in total) group of independents. Within INA, the Sadrists are now better represented whereas INC (Chalabi) has been excluded.

It is hard to see how the committee can agree on anything, in particular with the ingenuous requirement that 80% (11.2 representatives!) consensus be achieved! Apparently a clear message to the Iraqi electorate that this group intends to torment the country with indecision for some considerable time to come… In a first round, all the SLA members will be required to support Maliki, whereas the Sadrists and Islah (4 members) will probably vote for Jaafari, leaving Adel Abd al-Mahdi with a maximum of three supporters (two from ISCI and, conceivably, Shammari of Fadila.)

It is not very surprising therefore, that a second unconstitutional solution to the premier question – on top of the one already proposed by Ammar al-Hakim – is being discussed in these circles: A scheme in which three deputies would share the premiership! This is of course just as illegal and constitutionally subversive as the Hakim scheme in that they both attack one of the few remaining majoritarian features of the otherwise highly consociational Iraqi constitution – article 76.

The committee of wise men is supposed to meet tonight, but so are, reportedly, also Nuri al-Maliki and Ayad Allawi!

Posted in UIA dynamics | 13 Comments »