According to Qassem al-Aaraji, a top member of the Iraqi National Alliance (INA), outgoing Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has “no chance” to form a government in the coming days, reiterating previous declarations that the INA will never accept a government with Maliki as the prime minister.
The move appears to have all but finished the current prime minister’s bid for a second term in office, but key Maliki ally Ali al-Adeeb angrily condemned the “threat,” saying it was “for media consumption.” Adeeb said the INA had threatened to join a coalition government with Iraqiya and the Kurdistan Alliance if State of Law did not abandon their demand for Maliki to be the prime minister.
Adeeb insisted that the threat was an empty one, however, and that State of Law “have no clear evidence” that Iraqiya will even accept the INA. It seems likely, however, that as the INA alliance is the only route for either State of Law or Iraqiya to form a government, that one or the other is eventually going to cave in on certain demands from the de facto kingmaker.
Iraqiya has also ruled out, as expected, any deal with Maliki, and two of the three blocs would need to be in a single coalition to form a government. This seemingly provides Maliki with no possible path to retain his office.
INA leader Moqtada al-Sadr has recently been praising the secularist Iraqiya, and while the two sides don’t appear to have made much progress on specifics of the next government it may perhaps be the last real chance at a coalition government before all sides will have to concede that the election has ended with a hung parliament.