Just one day after what was supposed to be the final coalition building deal in Iraq, the new government looks to be on the brink of collapse with its largest member, Iraqiya, threatening a pullout.
The deal for a grand coalition came as something of a surprise after over eight months of bickering, but centered around a promise to appoint Ayad Allawi, the leader of Iraqiya, to the position of Chairman of the Political Council of Strategic Policies, while Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and Presient Jalal Talabani would retain their posts. Iraqiya also nominated Osama Nejeifi as the parliamentary speaker.
The problem with the deal is that no one really knows what the Political Council of Strategic Policies does, nor has its chairman, a position seemingly invented out of wholecloth yesterday just to give Allawi a title, any defined powers.
Iraqiya members seem now to be quite up in arms about the deal, having realized that all Allawi has actually gotten was a promise for a really long name plate at his seat in parliament. The bloc says if Allawi’s position doesn’t get some defined powers within the next month it will bolt from the fledgling coalition. As other officials have suggested the new government won’t be finalized for 30 days, this could mean another seemingly done deal will collapse before a government can be seated.