Monday, 04 June 2012, 09:40 GMT
"We must prevent other dictatorships from emerging in Iraq"

Head of Iraqia Bloc, Iyad Allawi, Erbil, June 2, 2012./GLOBE PHOTO/Safin Hamid

The Kurdish Globe

Aiyad Alawi in a Globe interview

The secular Shiite leader Dr. Ayad Allawi, head of the Al-Iraqiya list, believes that the political crisis in Iraq has reached a serious stage and is now threatening the future of democracy in the country, because of the policies of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and his move towards autocracy, which began after the withdrawal of U.S. forces six months ago. Allawi believes that the crisis has paralyzed state institutions and threatens security and economy, in addition to threatening Baghdad's relation with the Kurdistan Region, and stressed the need to prevent the reemergence of a dictatorship in the country.

Meanwhile, Iraqi observers, politicians and academics think that the administration of the country should come out of its idealistic framework with a new majority government with a necessity for an opposition front within the Iraqi parliament to strengthen the democratic process in the country and to prevent autocracy.

In an interview with the Kurdish Globe, Ayad Allawi stated, "meetings are still ongoing and they are important meetings toward the course of stability in Iraq". Allawi stressed that there is consensus among political leaders and national segments of various directions that democracy should be enhanced in Iraq and that political forces should work on measures to prevent the emergence of a new dictatorship or autocratic rule in Iraq.

A withdrawal of confidence from Maliki has been strongly touted in the Iraqi political arena, and Allawi confirmed that most of the political forces agree on this motion. "In fact, all are in agreement on these directions and opinions, these talks now are about the best ways of attaining constitutional democracy to achieve this noble goal of the Iraqi people".

Allawi confirmed that all options, without exception, fall within the constitution and promote the democratic process and the peaceful practices in addition to enhancing a peaceful transfer of power. He also emphasized that Iraqis must be responsible for Iraq without any external influence or foreign interference from any state whether it is the United States of America or any regional state.

In the past weeks, Erbil, Najaf and the resort of Dukan have witnessed a series of meetings between Iraqi and Kurdish parties calling for a solution to the political crisis, by putting an end to the policies of Maliki and the way he conducts relationships with Iraqi political parties which he shares power with.

Allawi affirmed that "we are keen for these talks to result in a pure and independent Iraqi decision and also keen that this decision should fall within the constitution and in the framework of the constitution, in addition the decision would stop autocracy and stop the emergence of dictatorship in Iraq and promote the democratic approach because this is the only solution in Iraq".

Allawi, who had previously ruled Iraq in 2005 as Prime Minister, confirmed that Maliki is acting contrary to what the Iraqi constitution stipulates. Allawi went on to add, "We are moving towards what the constitutions dictates unlike Mr. Al-Maliki, who is acting against the constitution and we are in positive talks with Iraqi parties and this is why we asked the National Alliance in an official letter from His Eminence Moqtada Al-Sadr to choose a replacement for Mr. Al-Maliki if he fails to implement the agreements approved in the consultative meetings in Erbil and what had also been agreed upon in the Barzani initiative, called the Erbil Agreement".

The Iraqi political parties, led by Al-Iraqiya List and the Kurdistan Alliance bloc accuse Maliki of backing-off from the implementation of the promises that formed basis of the Iraqi government, including the formation of the Iraqi Board of Policies, that was to be headed by Allawi and the appointment of an independent person to the presidency of the National Security Council, that Maliki has failed to implement.

The head of the Al-Iraqiya list affirms that they are looking for guarantees so that anyone else that comes to power after Maliki will not follow in his footsteps to autocracy and act along similar lines. He added: "We are looking for guarantees and for assertions and this unfortunately why we no longer have enough and complete confidence in Mr. Al-Maliki".

A national conference was scheduled months ago where all political parties in Iraq would participate to find solutions to the current crisis, but the Iraqi leaders failed to even hold the meeting because of disputes over the agenda. Several dates have been set for this meeting but all have been postponed.

Allawi said that the "Iraqi situation had reached a dangerous path, a path of autocracy for political decision, carelessness to others, and a path that promotes sectarian and ethnic politics, fueling sectarian and ethnic conflicts and this is something sad and something unfortunate because the Iraqi people is higher than this subject and the Iraqi people is a unified people, Arabs, Kurds, Turkmens, Moslems, Christians , Shiites and Sunnis and this is why we regret that Mr. Al-Maliki is raising these problems".

According to Allawi statements, there are voices even within the State of Law bloc headed by Maliki who are standing against his authoritarian policies. According to Allawi "There are people from the State of Law who are certainly with this direction but there are contacts with some of the brothers in the State of Law where there are complaints and recently one the most prominent women in the State of Law, Ms. Manal al-Moussawi, withdrew from the State of Law and established a bloc in the parliament with some other brothers and sisters which is a proof that even within the State of Law there are voices that state the his policies are wrong".

In parallel to Allawi's expressions, the famous Iraqi academic and researcher Dr. Abdul Hussain Shaban says that Iraq is going through many problems and the most important one is political accordance, which he believes must be ended in order to get Iraq out of its current crisis.

Shaban, during his current visit to the Kurdistan region of Iraq, said that there are three major problems that Iraq suffers from and believes, "the first relates to the political process that has reached a deadlock which is not possible to maintain in the same way it started out nine years ago when the occupation existed and Bremer>s decisions were driving Iraqi politics".

The fall of Saddam Hussein's Iraqi regime in April 2003 came after a military operation led by the United Stated of America and the American Administration then appointed the diplomat Paul Bremer, head of the civil power in the country and who legislated decisions about how to manage power, including the accordance between the Iraqi blocs in the administration of the country.

The Iraqi academic added that "the case of accordance must be ended. If the accordance policy or accordance democracy are only valid for a period of time and valid for a transitional period, then the transition period must end and electoral merits must take a range and that there should be authority and opposition, opposition within the parliament and the opposition outside of the parliament".

The Iraqi researcher also confirms that the constitution includes many downfalls that are caused the outbreak of the political crises from time to time in the country. He further added: "If the agreement was generally on the frameworks and the roof of the federal constitution of 2005 and the law of the State Administration in 2004, the problem started after that, the so-called disputed areas, Article 140 and the problem of Kirkuk and the biggest issue is the issue of oil because there are problems in the federal limits and authorities and the authorities of the federal State".

Iraqis have voted in 2005 on the first Iraqi constitution that written after the fall of the dictatorial regime and obtained majority approval from the Iraqi people after been put to a referendum.

Shaban outlined the Iraqi security problems, whether developmental, social, political, or extremists and concluded that they will remain effective. He further explained that the sectarian issue will also be influential and the issue of political terrorism would rise up from time to time while the political and social segregation will remain a factor in the political situation if the political problems are not solved between the Iraqi parties.