Sadrist Party spokesman Saleh al-Obeidi today issued an unusually frank condemnation of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, suggesting that he was wholly unacceptable as a candidate to retain his position in the next government.
“Iraq needs a government that relies on mutual trust,” Obeidi insisted, adding that Maliki had failed to fulfill his commitments to eliminate corruption. Maliki’s State of Law bloc has insisted that Maliki is the only acceptable candidate for the job.
The Sadrist Party has the largest number of seats in the Iraqi National Alliance, the bloc with which State of Law had planned on forming a government. Today’s comments were just the latest in a growing number of reports suggesting all was not well between the two Shi’ite blocs, however, and it seems that the path to government remains unclear.
The possible collapse of this alliance has given renewed hope to the Iraqiya bloc of Ayad Allawi, which won the largest plurality in the vote but was expected to be cut out of the government in favor of less secular blocs. Iraqiya met with the Sadrist faction last week, and Allawi and Maliki are said to be planning a talk in the next 48 hours.
Three and a half months after the Iraqi election, it remains unclear if any side will be able to negotiate enough of an alliance to form a serious coalition government. The process has been expected to be a slow one, but after several abortive attempts it seems little progress has been made, and no end is in sight.
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