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Interview: Two Iraqi Legislators Comment On Al-Ja'fari Nomination

The opening of the Iraqi legislature in Baghdad on March 16 (epa) On April 2, RFE/RL's Radio Free Iraq (RFI) spoke with Qasim Dawud, a parliamentary deputy and a member of the independent bloc within the United Iraqi Alliance, about the negotiations to form a new Iraqi government.

RFI: Where do the negotiations on forming a government stand as of now?

Qasim Dawud: For a full 52 days we have not been able to create and form a cabinet that would be ready to assume its basic responsibilities. Therefore, yesterday I addressed an appeal -- something I perceive as an appeal of the Iraqi conscience, an appeal of the children of Iraq -- to the office of the [Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Ja'fari] that he take into consideration the good of the Iraqi people and of the country and withdraw his nomination in order to open up a place to other candidates because the political process has reached a dead end.

Our Kurdish friends and our friends in the Iraqi Accordance Front have insisted in new messages they sent three days ago on a refusal to deal with the nominee of the United Iraqi Alliance [al-Ja'fari]. But I must clearly say that I represent a very broad stream within the alliance that supports a policy [of choosing a nominee other than al-Ja'fari]. A number of friends have expressed their attitudes, and I await a clear official stance in the next few days. That should lead to a revised choice, a new nominee, who would form the Iraqi cabinet.

RFI: [United Iraqi Alliance spokesman] Jawad al-Maliki claimed in statements yesterday that the whole alliance supports the al-Ja’fari nomination, adding that there is no place in the alliance for anyone who would try to hijack the alliance for personal reasons. How would you analyze these declarations from the official spokesman of the alliance?

Dawud: Indeed, we do support the unity and coherence of the alliance. We must focus on an important thing -- namely, that crises disintegrate instead of uniting. We want to solve this crisis. A solution to the crisis would unite the alliance. But claiming that all stand behind this nomination does not correspond with the truth.

Four blocs, from among the seven blocs that constitute the alliance, will reconsider the issue of the nomination of al-Ja’fari. Attitudes in this regard will become clearer, possibly tomorrow or the day after tomorrow.

But declaring that all members of the alliance are united and that only some have attempted to disturb the unity of the alliance is something outdated, with all these accusations, allegations, and so forth.

Iraqi Accordance Front leadership member and member of parliament Khalaf al-Ulayyan confirmed his bloc’s refusal to accept Prime Minister al-Ja’fari’s nomination in an interview with RFI on April 2.

Khalaf Al-Ulayyan: We do not have any objection to the person of al-Ja’fari. Good and warm relations bind us to him, and he is a dear friend to us. But the period during which he led the cabinet was not successful. The period was not distinguished by anything but a quantity of bloodshed and a number of problematic acts that almost led the country into an abyss. Nevertheless, Supreme and Almighty God showed mercy upon us, and we have passed this period. So I do not think he is the man who deserves the leadership for the coming period.

(translated by Petr Kubalek and Faris Omar)

RFE/RL Iraq Report

RFE/RL Iraq Report

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