The prospect of an alliance between the Iraqiya and Iraqi National Alliance (INA) blocs and the formation of a coalition government could be closer than anyone realized, as a top Iraqiya MP reported today that the Sadr bloc, currently in charge of the INA, has acquiesced and given their approval for Iraqiya leader Ayad Allawi as the next prime minister.
Such proclamations must always be taken with a grain of salt, particularly since the Sadr bloc hasn’t commented on the report yet. But independent reports suggesting that Syria has been brokering the talks are also emerging from all sides, suggesting that Iraq’s Sunni neighbor could be pushing the alliance in the wake of a failed US attempt to bring Iraqiya together with the State of Law bloc.
For their part State of Law has condemned the “foreign influence” behind this apparent new alliance, insisting that any government deals agreed to in Syria would be invalid. State of Law’s leader, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, is a favorite candidate of both the US and Iran, but has clashed openly with Syria, accusing them of being in league with al-Qaeda.
Allawi’s Iraqiya bloc won a narrow election victory over Maliki, but both sides have needed the endorsement of the INA to form any government. Though it was once considered all but a done deal that Maliki had gained the INA’s support, the two sides have drifted apart in recent weeks.