Assassination Adds New Doubts to Allawi’s Lead

Iraqiya Loses an MP

The prospective bannings of two Iraqiya MPs could remove the bloc’s narrow 91-89 lead over the State of Law Party in the March 7 election, and those bannings remain under appear. Two other bannings, including another Iraqiya member, are in the offing.

The Maliki government has arrested and sought to disqualify candidates from the Ayad Allawi-led Iraqiya since the election ended. But a more permanent case of Iraqiya losing an MP happened today, when Bashar Mohammad Hamed al-Akidi succumbed to the wounds from an assassination attempt in front of his home in Mosul.

Akidi was a 35 year old mill owner who was set to serve for his first term in parliament. The Nineveh Governor Atheel al-Najafi complained that the Interior Ministry had denied to supply police protection to the winning MPs from his province, which were almost exclusively from Iraqiya.

Though in theory Akidi will be replaced by another Iraqiya member, in practice it is unclear when such a replacement will take place, and it could be delayed until after the sitting of the new parliament, costing Iraqiya a seat at the most important time.

Though officials have yet to conclusively prove that the assassination was linked to the election, it appears to be the latest in a growing host of post-election incidents, and potentially among the most destabilizing.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.