Over a month after the Iraqi National Alliance (INA) agreed to form a government with Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s State of Law bloc, growing tensions have frayed that partnership to such an extent that the Iraqiya bloc of Ayad Allawi is now claiming they have a “semi-agreement” with the INA to jump ship and form a government with them.
Iraqiya narrowly edged the State of Law bloc in number of seats, and theoretically should get the first opportunity to try to form a government. Both blocs are well short of the 163 seats needed to form a government, and in practice it would be impossible for either without the INA’s support.
Last week the first signs of a rift between State of Law and INA emerged, with the two sides bickering over who will become the next Prime Minister and Maliki balking at INA demands to release a large number of prisoners who are members of their bloc.
Top Iraqiya member Shakir Kutab says that they are ready to form a government with both the INA and the Kurdistan Alliance, which would put them well over the number of seats needed. The question of whether INA member and current Vice President Adel Abdulmahdi or former Prime Minister and Iraqiya head Ayad Allawi will take the Prime Ministership might be a stumbling block, however, and three months after the election the situation still seems far from clear.