Iraq and Gulf Analysis

Archive for August 18th, 2010

Now That Was Sectarian, Mr. Maliki

Posted by Reidar Visser on Wednesday, 18 August 2010 12:41

Now that the full Al-Hurra interview with Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has been aired, a more complete picture of his thinking in terms of coalition-making has emerged. Unfortunately, it is not good news.

It is strange that the reactions so far have focused so much on Maliki’s description of the Iraqiyya party as “representing the Sunnis” since this clearly was an attempt by Maliki at justifying the inclusion of Iraqiyya in government and as such not an attempt at sectarian discrimination. However, in the full interview, there were other remarks by Maliki that amount to the most primitive form of sectarianism that exists: His assertion that “The prime minister post should definitely go to the Shiite component”:

“إن الخارطة الجدية لتشكيل الحكومة هي إن رئاسة الوزراء ستكون حتما للمكون الشيعي ورئاسة الجمهورية للكرد ورئاسة البرلمان والمجلس الوطني للسياسات الاستتراتيجية للعرب السنة المتمثلة بائتلاف العراقية وتحديدا لزعيم الائتلاف اياد علاوي الذي قد لايقبل بهذا المنصب”.

That is sectarian, no matter how much you try to twist it. Nowhere in the Iraqi constitution is there a demand that the PM post should go to any particular sect; even the higher ranks of the Shiite clergy have reportedly suggested that the job could go to a Christian or a Yazidi as long as it is a competent person. This does not bode well for any kind of ideology-based rapprochement between Iraqiyya and Maliki’s State of Law, since the very aim of that scheme – admittedly supported only by a few brave politicians inside each of the blocs – would be to transcend the whole notion of sectarian quotas.

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Posted in Iraq's 2010 parliamentary election, Sectarian master narrative | 66 Comments »