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Iraq: Corruption, threats, War Crimes and the votes are still being counted

May 7, 2014

Last Wednesday, Iraqis voted in parliamentary elections.  Cihan observes today:

The real competition is between incumbent Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and his rivals, namely Sunnis, Kurds and Shiites who believe he will not serve for a third time. There are secondary rivalries between pious Shiites and secularists and between moderate Sunnis and radicals/insurgents.
The Shiites are split three ways between al-Maliki's State of Law Coalition, Muqtada al-Sadr's Sadrist movement and the Citizen Coalition of Shiite cleric Ammar al-Hakim's Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq.
The Sunnis in turn are split between parliamentary speaker Osama al-Nujaifi's Muttahidoon list and Deputy Prime Minister Saleh al-Mutlaq's al-Arabiya list. Given this political split, no single bloc is expected to win a majority in the new parliament.

Ammar al-Hakim was busy today.  All Iraq News notes he met with the Swedish Ambassador to Iraq and he met with Karar al-Khafaji who heads the political commission of cleric and movement leader Moqtada al-Sadr's coaltion.  NINA notes that in addition to meeting with Jorgen Lindstrom (Swedish Ambassador), Ammar also met with British Ambassador to Iraq Simon Paul  Collins today.

On the subject of the Sadr bloc, Monday's snapshot included:

On Saturday, the Independent High Electoral Commission declared their intention to announce the results May 25th. Today, Ghassan Hamid and Mohammed Shafiq (Alsumaria) report the IHEC has stated the large number of complaints alleging violations during the vote will delay the release of the votes.  Violations would be one way to word what State of Law MP Mahmoud al-Hassan is accused of.  All Iraq News notes MP Hussein al-Shirifi, of Moqtada al-Sadr's bloc, is calling for the IHEC to toss al-Hassan's eligibility as a result of al-Hassan's alleged voter intimidation to scare up votes for Nouri al-Maliki's State of Law coalition.

Alsumaria reports today that MP Hussein al-Sharifi is stating that a fine for Mahmoud Hassan would not be justice since the State of Law MP was extorting and threatening Iraqi people, specifically those in the slums of Baghdad, that this is recorded on video and that this was broadcast on television so a fine is not enough.

Amjad Salah and Mohammad Shafiq (Alsumaria) report MP Hassoun Fatlawi who serves on Parliament's Legal Committee declared today that Nouri's term will expire June 14th

And Nouri?

He gave his weekly speech today.  Alsumaria notes he used it to savage the Parliament and Speaker of Parliament Osama al-Nujaifi as he insisted that they accomplished nothing.

Nouri al-Maliki will have completed his second term in one month and seven days and he will have done so without ever finding three individuals to head the security ministries -- his entire term he has had, for example, no Minister of Defense.  For four years, Iraq's been without a Minister of Defense -- as violence has increased.  He's in no position to call anyone else a failure.

In fairness to Nouri, he is accomplishing something currently -- increasing his number of War Crimes.  As he continues to use collective punishment (legally defined by the United Nations and the United States as a War Crime) on the civilians of Falluja, he kills and he wounds.  Alsumaria reports that today's assault on Falluja's residential neighborhoods by Nouri's military bombings left 7 civilians dead and forty-five injured.

Monday, Aswat al-Iraq noted the Kurds were insisting that holding the presidency of Iraq was actually a "right."  It's not.  It's been a custom. There's nothing in the Iraqi Constitution that guarantees the president will be a Kurd. (Only that he or she will be an Iraqi citizen by birth, born of Iraqi parents.)  Massoud Barzani is the KRG President (and he's back in Iraq after his visit to Jordan).  Barzani heads the Kurdistan Democratic Party and NINA notes that they are saying that a Kurd must be president and quotes KDP member Abdul Salam Berwari stating, "The entitlement of the presidency is exclusive for Kurds will not renounce it in any way."  The Patriotic Union of Kurdistan is headed by Iraqi President Jalal Talabani.  Alsumaria reports that PUK member Burhan Faraj states that the Kurds are discussing now who should be president.


Back to the ongoing violence, National Iraqi News Agency reports a Hit suicide bomber took his own life and the lives of 4 Iraqi soldiers and 1 federal police and injured six more, 1 person was shot dead in Tarmiyah, the Ministry of the Interior announced 1 suspect was killed in Salah al-Din, the Joint Operations Command announced they killed 12 suspects, 1 agronomist was shot dead in Mosul, police forces killed 1 suspect west of Mosul, a Mosul car bombing left four people injured, an armed clash in Falluja left 4 rebels dead, and 2 corpses were discovered south of Kirkuk.  Alsumaria adds the corpses had gunshot wounds, were blindfolded and bound.


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:: Article nr. 106884 sent on 13-may-2014 02:43 ECT

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