How is Iraq’s broad coalition government going? It depends when you ask. Just two days ago Iraqiya officials were openly praising the partnership, claiming they were on the brink of getting several key positions, including defense minister.
But now Iraqiya’s leader, former prime minister Ayad Allawi, is threatening to quit the government (again), insisting that the Shi’ite religious blocs at the center of the coalition aren’t keeping their promises about power sharing.
“Power-sharing is not happening,” insisted Allawi, adding that Iran was entirely to blame and that the Iranian government “have a red line against me personally and do not want Iraqiya to participate in the new government.”
The claim is perhaps not entirely unsubstantiated, as Iran’s state media has been running negative stories about Iraqiya since before the March election, citing Ahmed Chalabi’s claims that Iraqiya is part of a US plot to create a “new Saddam.”
Though Allawi himself is a Shi’ite, his party is secularist and wound up carrying virtually the entire Sunni Arab region of Iraq. If Iraqiya leaves the government it will likely spark further anger among the Sunnis, who are already irked that Iraqiya’s apparent victory in the March vote has led to them being a third or fourth fiddle player in the government.
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