Under US Pressure, Iraqiya Likely to Join Maliki Govt

Election Win Won't Be Enough to Secure Premiership

As the Obama Administration applies growing pressure to all sides to accept a unity government with Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki (the favorite candidate for both the US and Iranian governments) retaining his position, it seems increasingly the other blocs are falling in line.

The secularist Iraqiya bloc, which won the largest plurality in the March election and by all accounts was the winner of the election, is even backing off its calls to end up actually leading the government, and is expressing a willingness to accept a minor role in the Maliki government in return for at least one “decision making post,” meaning either a parliamentary speaker or the vice presidency.

Which actually means that despite having won a massive number of seats compared to the last election the nation’s Sunni minority is going to wind up with even less power than they had last time. After the last election Iraq’s Sunni blocs managed to have both a VP spot and the parliamentary speaker.

Winning elections however isn’t as big a deal as one might think, and neither is losing them, as Iraqiya is looking at a trivial role in a government which has already committed to giving a Shi’ite clerical council the power to issue binding edicts, while the Iraqi National Alliance’s distant third place finish is likely to be enough to net them significant roles going forward.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of Antiwar.com.