Thursday, April 1, 2010

A National Unity Government in Iraq?

Juan Cole reports (based on reporting in al-Hayat) that Ayad Allawi and Nuri al-Maliki are actually discussing the possibility of a national-unity government.
Informed Comment: Sadrists are Holding Referendum on PM; <br> Allawi says Would go to Iran, form Gov't of National Unity

Both men bill themselves as non-sectarian Iraqi nationalists who favor a strong central goverment in Baghdad (although Allawi, on the basis of past performance, has the more valid case for such a label).

That might leave the INA out in the cold, especially if Muqtada al-Sadr (whose Sadrist element now dominates the INA) refuses to line up with a government that includes a leader who drove his people out of Basra. It would also leave the Iranians with less leverage, although they'd prefer an Iraqi government with Maliki rather than without him.

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