Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Former CIA Asset Allawi Touted as Next Iraqi Prime Minister

James Cogan, wsws.org

The result of the March 7 Iraq election has given the largest bloc of seats in the 325-member parliament to the Sunni-based and ostensibly secular Iraqiya coalition headed by Iyad Allawi, a former CIA asset and one-time US-installed prime minister. With just 91 legislators, however, Allawi needs to strike agreements with other factions to obtain the necessary 163-seat majority.
Frantic negotiations and deal-making are underway. Nouri al-Maliki, the current prime minister, and his largely Shiite-based State of Law coalition, which won 89 seats and is the second-largest bloc in the parliament, have declared the result illegitimate and are demanding a manual vote recount. Over the weekend, State of Law representatives nevertheless took part in talks in Iran with leaders of the Shiite fundamentalist Iraqi National Alliance (INA), which won 70 seats. The INA is dominated by the Sadrist movement loyal to cleric Moqtada al-Sadr and the Iranian-linked Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq (ISCI). With the support of a handful of other parliamentarians, the two Shiite factions would have a majority and could prevent Allawi coming to power.
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