Allawi Says Iraq Govt Impasse Drags On

Rules Out Unity Govt, Warns of Increased Violence

In a pair of interviews today, former Iraqi Prime Minister Ayad Allawi warned that the violence in the nation will only continue to grow so long as there is no new government resulting from the March election.

But that will take several months, if it happens at all. Allawi’s best case scenario involves negotiations “in the range of two months” to forming a government, and that this could begin only after the results of the election are officially announced by the Supreme Court.

The announcement itself is being held up as Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki aims for a full manual recount and as the Justice and Accountability Commission (JAC) looks at banning several of the winning MPs from serving in office.

But even the two month timetable is optimistic, and Allawi concedes that the process could take five months or even longer. Allawi’s Iraqiya bloc has the most seats in the election with 91, and assuming this is upheld by the court they would have the first chance to form a government.

Whatever the case, Allawi says that Iraq will not have another “unity” government including all of the major factions, saying that instead of false unity the nation needed a government capable of getting things done. Whether this includes him remains to be seen.

The real unknowable quantity in this all is Moqtada al-Sadr, whose third-place Iraqi National Alliance (INA) bloc holds the key to either Allawi or Maliki forming the next government. Sadr followers held a private referendum over the weekend on which Prime Minister they should support, the results are expected in the next few days.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.