Key Iraqi National Alliance (INA) figure Qassim al-Aaraji today rejected a US proposal for a grand coalition government which would divide authority between current Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and former Prime Minister Ayad Allawi.
The INA has rejected the notion of Maliki retaining his position for another term, and Aaraji also insisted that the INA considers it unacceptable for any member of Allawi’s Iraqiya bloc to hold the premiership.
Publicly Maliki’s State of Law bloc continues to maintain that he is the only choice for the position, but over five months after the election and with little progress, it seems that privately Maliki may be falling out of failure as a losing proposition for State of Law.
In fact rumors suggest that Maliki’s own Dawa Party has already, or may soon dump him as their choice to head the next government. It is unclear who they might select as an alternative.
The choices seem to be fairly limited, as Allawi is the only prominent Shi’ite in the Iraqiya bloc, and presumably neither rival bloc (both Shi’ite religious blocs) would accept a Sunni Prime Minister. Maliki, for his part, is the only State of Law figure of any prominence, though the political inexperienced Jaafar al-Sadr has considerable name recognition through his father. The Iraqi National Alliance has put forward former prime minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari as a possible candidate as well.
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