Friday, April 07, 2006

Ali Al-Adeeb a possible compromise candidate?

Baghdad: Sources in Baghdad suggested late friday that the deadlock in the Iraqi political process could be eased with the winners of December's elections, the Shia UIA, putting forward a compromise candidate, Ali Al-Adeeb of the Dawa Party, for the post of Prime Minister.

Incumbent Prime Minister Ibrahim Jafari has faced opposition for a second term from the Kurds and the Sunni arabs, despite winning an internal party vote against Adel Abdel Mahdi, a formerly secular Baathist and Maoist who has now turned Islamist. Mahdi called for Jafari to step down earlier this week and it was feared that this act of political betrayal may have caused a split in the shia list between Mahdi's SCIRI and the Sadrists who had supported Jafari's bid for a second term.

It has been reported that tensions have been high in the holy cities of Kerbala and Najaf, where Muqtada Sadr's Mahdi Army and SCIRI's Badr Brigades have engaged in low-level clashes. This is on top of the increasing tensions between Sadr and the US army. The occupying force attacked a Husseiniyeh, a shia place of worship, last Sunday and killed 37 unarmed worshippers, thought to be supporters of Anti-US Cleric Sadr.

Jafari is easily the most popular politician on the street and his impending exit will be a hard pill to swallow for democrats all over the country, thousands of whom came out during the week to protest against the US backed effort to oust Jafari. According to the source, Mahdi's own demise is linked to those in the shia list, many of them SCIRI members, who remember his role in the theft of Billions of Dollars from Iraq's defence budget in 2004. When former Baathist Ayad Allawi was Prime Minister, his Defence Minister, Hazem Shallan embezzled $1.4Billion dollars from the procurement budget. Mahdi was the finance minister at the time and he oversaw all the transactions which took place. Although no evidence has been offered to suggest Mahdi benefitted personally, this scenario has apparentely highlighted his incompetence, and has led many to doubt whether he could handle the demands of the top job.

The UIA official, who is close to the negotiations, said that talks were under way to produce a compromise candidate. Ali Al-Adeeb of the Dawa Party has been suggested and it is thought that he commands the respect of SCIRI, Dawa and the Sadrists as well. A united Shia list will be one step to the formation of a new government, which Iraq's bleeding people are crying out for to end their suffering. The source of everything evil in Iraq today, as far as the Iraqi people are concerned, is the illegal occupation and the sooner that is concluded, the sooner this battered and bruised nation can rebuild itself.