Blocs Agree on Iraq Govt Deal

Agreement Would Keep Maliki, Talabani in Current Positions

Updated 11/10/10 11:20 PM EST

State of Law MP Hasan Senid is reporting tonight that the ongoing meetings in Arbil have reached a consensus and that Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki will retain his position as prime minister. Members of Iraqiya later confirmed the deal.

The deal is said to keep Jalal Talabani as the President of Iraq, despite US demands that he resign. It would give the position of parliamentary speaker to some member of Iraqiya. There was no word on which blocs would get the other key positions.

The announcement aims to put an end to over eight months of feverish negotiations for a new government, which included a number of false reports of finalized deals and months angry infighting over the premiership.

At the same time, it seems this deal will drive a considerable wedge into the Iraqiya faction, as a number of its members appear unwilling to join a government led by Maliki and still others will likely object to the powerless position of parliamentary speaker as compensation for being the largest political bloc. The Obama Administration had sought to secure Iraqiya leader Ayad Allawi the presidency, but it seems the Kurdistan bloc, despite losing a number of members and having a distant fourth place finish, has managed to retain the position.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.