Iraqi government approves power-sharing deal eight months after elections
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
On Saturday, the Iraqi parliament approved a power-sharing agreement, after eight months of negotiations.
The agreement, reached on Tuesday, appeared to be falling apart on Thursday after the-backed , led by , walked out of the parliamentary session, expressing disappointment that the parliament had not voted upon the power-sharing agreement before voting for the president. Allawi then spoke to CNN, telling the network that they viewed the power-sharing process to be "dead" and that they were expecting more "tensions and violence".
Iraqis went to the polls on March 7 to elect members of the Nouri al-Maliki and the -supported , led by , won 89 and 43 seats respectively, giving them more seats together than , but still far from enough to form a government.. In this election, the al-Iraqiya List won 91 seats, becoming the largest party in the parliament. However, in order to form a government, a party needs to hold 163 seats in the 325 seat Council. The -Backed , led by current Prime Minister
Eight months of disagreement on coalition-forming culminated in a compromise on Thursday in which Nouri al-Maliki would remain Prime Minister of Iraq, whilewould become leader of the new National Council for Strategic Policies, offering "a check on al-Maliki's power". President would retain his position as well. Lawmakers also elected al-Iraqiya member as Parliamentary Speaker. The problems began when al-Iraqiya believed the election of al-Nujaifi as Speaker was insufficient representation for the party in Parliament. This coupled with the fact that the rest of the parliament voted down the request to vote on the power-sharing agreement, led members of al-Iraqiya to walk out of the parliamentary session. Foreign Diplomats and Iraqi politicians have been scrambling to try and salvage the agreement. Al-Iraqiya announced its plans on Saturday to boycott the parliamentary session on Saturday.
On Saturday al-Iraqiya returned to the negotiating table; a spokesman for al-Iraqiya characterised the walkout as a "misunderstanding". With the help of al-Iraqiya, the parliament approved the power-sharing agreement agreed upon by the parties, as well as beginning to lift the ban on Ba'athist politicians in the parliament — which the Sunni population had felt unfairly targeted them.
- Bushra Juhi. "Iraqi lawmakers approve deal to form new government, amid questions of Sunni role in it" — , November 13, 2010
- Mohammed Tawfeeq, Jomana Karadsheh and Arwa Damon. "Iraq leaders' deal on power sharing appears to fall apart" — , November 12, 2010
- Arwa Damon. "Allawi: 'Power-sharing is dead now'" — , November 12, 2010
- Jomana Karadsheh and Arwa Damon. "Politicians in Iraq work to salvage power-sharing deal" — , November 12, 2010
- Leila Fadel and Karen DeYoung. "Ayad Allawi's bloc wins most seats in Iraqi parliamentary elections" — , March 27, 2010