In an interview today with an Egyptian daily, former Iraqi Prime Minister Ayad Allawi reiterated his call for a partner to help form a coalition government, and offered to step aside and allow another member of Iraqiya to take the spot of prime minister if this would help.
Though the offer may paint Iraqiya in a somewhat more positive light internationally, it is unclear if it will have any effect on the seemingly stalemated process toward a coalition government, as there are few other high profile Iraqiya members and none seems any more palatable to the other major parties than Allawi.
Indeed Allawi might be uniquely palatable as one of the few Shi’ite MPs in Iraqiya, a secularist bloc that won a plurality mainly with support in Sunni districts. The other two major blocs, the State of Law and the Iraqi National Alliance (INA), are both Shi’ite religious factions which would be unlikely to accept a Sunni PM under any circumstance.
Indeed, both rival blocs have their own ideas about who should be prime minister, with State of Law insisting on current Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and the INA backing Ibrahim al-Jaafari. The fact that none seem willing to compromise if it means not getting the prime ministership is the primary reason why, nearly five months after the initial vote, Iraq is no closer to having a new government.
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