Top allies of Iraqi Prime Minister and State of Law bloc leader Nouri al-Maliki say that his bloc is putting the finishing touches on a deal to ally with cleric Moqtada al-Sadr’s Iraqi National Alliance (INA), a move which would all but guarantee the two would be able to form the next government of Iraq.
The March 7 election saw Iraqiya, the secularist bloc of Ayad Allawi, narrowly edging State of Law with a 91-89 plurality, and both sides needing the 70 seat INA’s support in their quest for the 163 seats needed to form a government.
Ali al-Adeeb, one of the top State of Law members, says that they are in talks with the INA to settle on who would be the next Prime Minister, and predicted that the partnership would be announced within the next few days.
If this proves accurate, the two Shi’ite blocs would be able to cut Iraqiya, and by extension virtually the entire Sunni minority, out of the government. The move would almost certainly spark outrage from the Sunnis, who saw Iraqiya’s success as a chance to have some measure of say in the Iraqi government after years of Shi’ite domination. Allawi warned that the move would spark a sectarian war, and urged the US to get involved.