Monday, January 02, 2006

Corruption Charges for Allawi?

Firstly, I must correct myself (again!) on the status of Ibrahim Bahr Uloom. It seems I got it right (the first time!), and the Iraqi Oil Minister has now indeed been sacked. It seems that after I wrote 'the growing pains of Iraqi democracy', he had returned from his son's wedding and was given a compulsory 30 day holiday by Prime Minister Ibrahim Jafari. So apologies for that!

Secondly, it gives me immense pleasure to report to you that former Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi may become the subject of an investigation into the corruption which took place under his short term in office, according to a well placed Iraqi source. The High Commission of Public Integrity will launch a thorough inquiry into the disappearance of around $2 Billion of public money, $1 Billion of which is alleged to have been taken from the Ministry of Defence by Hazem Shallan, Allawi's Defence Minister. The investigation will examine whether Allawi himself knew about the thefts and whether he personally profited as a result.

The source added that the political elite in Baghdad are accelerating Allawi's demise by drawing his own political support away from him, as it seems certain that some of those who ran on his list will be granted cabinet positions in the new Iraqi Government. And Moqtada Sadr's faction have refused to enter into any alliance with Allawi, which means that there is absoutely no way back for him. Even if the US attempts to perform a coup, Allawi enjoys almost no popular support and now that his own allies are deserting him, he his rule would last abut 30 seconds.

The source also said that there have been some other very positive development coming out of the negotiations for a 'National Unity' government, one of which is an initial agreement between the Sadr faction and the Iraqi Islamic Party, led by Tariq Al-Hashimi. Also, some of Ibrahim Jafari's advisors met with Adnan Dulaimi, leader of the Iraqi Accord Front, on the day of the elections and reported a very positive dialogue took place. It seems that the Iraqi authorities will deal with the Islamist sunni's who they view as seperate from the Neo-Baathist elements of the sunni population, such as Salih Mutlaq, a former baathist, who has categorically been rejected as a possible partner in the next government. This may lay the foundations for a Pan-Islamic coalition, which will lead to a growing prominence of Islamic law in Iraqi legislation.


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