Unconventional thinking about the Middle East.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Maliki Seems Confident

I just watched Nouri al-Maliki's interview with Al-Sumaria TV's Dalia al-Aqidi, which aired yesterday. Maliki seemed to be breaking some news: He kept referring to the 'National Coalition' to describe a soon-to-be-announced parliamentary bloc consisting of his own slate(89), the INA (70), the Kurdistani (43) and Tawafuq (6). Oddly though, I haven't heard anyone from those other slates describing an imminent coalition.

He's also betting on denying Allawi a number of seats by enacting a second round of de-Ba'athification, activating arrest warrants against some of Allawi's candidates (three in Diyala, one of whom is already in custody from before the election), and disqualifying candidates who had forged their educational certificates (...one needs the equivalent of high school--I think--to run for parliament). If this does go through, Allawi stands to lose 6-8 seats; the votes those disqualified candidates got would be nullified completely.

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