Update: Iraqiya members attended the Saturday session of parliament and some were still talking about a unity government, claiming a “misunderstanding” in the previous session. Many still seem determined not to participate, however. It remains to be seen what will happen.
Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki was approved for his second term only yesterday and it seems that his coalition government is already on the verge of collapse following the announcement by Iraqiya leader Ayad Allawi that his bloc will be leaving the coalition.
“We think the concept of power-sharing is dead now,” noted Allawi, in an interview with CNN “it’s finished.” Most of the members of Iraqiya, the largest political bloc in Iraq, had walked out of the first parliament session yesterday after the government refused to reinstate banned members of the party.
Prime Minister Maliki’s confirmation had only been secured through an elaborate but largely secretive power-sharing deal, and many in Iraqiya say that Maliki almost immediately went back on the pledges. Allawi warned tonight that Maliki is “becoming very dictatorial” and that his bloc is refusing to respect even its own coalition partners.
Though Maliki could theoretically hold office without Iraqiya’s support, he has made a number of enemies in his own bloc and the Iraqi National Alliance which could make his second term a very short one indeed. Even if his coalition does hold the loss of Iraqiya will undoubtledly raise tensions with the nation’s Sunni Arab minority, which overwhelmingly supported the secularist bloc.