Iraq at the crossroads: what’s next?

Viktor Mikhin

At first glance, it seems there’s a political lull in Iraq; however, this situation is ready to explode at any moment and lead to unpredictable consequences. On the internal situation several quite different centrifugal factors all play a role, seeking to fragment Iraqi society and create new state formations.

One of the factors that is extremely destabilizing to existing is the failure to unite by Iraqi politicians themselves, who have failed to agree to conduct a united policy. A new president was finally, with great difficulty, elected to replace Iraq’s long ailing Jalal Talabani. Since this post has been reserved for Kurds, their candidate Mohammed Fouad Massoum was elected. Sunni politician Salim Ad-Jabouri was also elected as the new speaker of the National Assembly (the parliament).

If both political figures are considered to be very moderate and in a position to carry out a common policy in the interests of the entire Iraqi society, the same cannot be said of current Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki, who, according to the Constitution, concentrated all the levers of power into his own hands.

In spite of strong pressure from inside and outside the country, N. al-Maliki rigidly stated that he would never renounce his intentions to once again run for prime minister. According to him, to flee the battlefield in the midst of battle is to show weakness. “I vowed before God that I will continue to fight side by side with our armed forces and volunteers, until we have conquered the enemies of Iraq and its people”, — he said on central Baghdad television. Nonetheless, many blame the current prime minister for exacerbating the crisis with anti-Sunni minority policies.

As is well known, in April an alliance of Shiite parties, headed by N. al-Maliki, won the parliamentary elections, and he has been prime minister since 2006.

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