Spokesmen for the Iraqiya bloc today announced that the bloc will insist upon former Prime Minister Ayad Allawi, their faction’s head, as the next prime minister of Iraq. Iraqiya won the largest number of seats in the March 7 election.
Iraqiya’s desire to appoint the PM is hardly exclusive, of course. State of Law, the second place finishers, insist that their leader, the current Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, must retain his office, while the third place Iraqi National Alliance (INA) is backing former Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari, a member of their bloc, as their “moral” choice.
Furthermore, opponents of Allawi’s candidacy are claiming that the secularist bloc contains “too many Sunni” lawmakers for Allawi, himself a Shi’ite, to be considered a candidate. Both State of Law and the INA are Shi’ite religious blocs.
None of these blocs has the clout to force their candidate through the split parliament, and despite a number of high profile meetings between the three, and meetings between two designed to “pressure” the other one to favor one or the other bloc, there are no strong indications that a new government, let alone a new prime minister is imminent.