Day: November 11, 2010

Still getting ready to sing

Anti-Kurd hardliner Osama al Nujaifi has been elected Speaker of the parliament in Baghdad, but then he and the rest of Iraqqiya walked out, apparently in protest against the treatment of some of its former Baathist members.  Kurdish leader Jalal Talabani has been voted back into the Presidency, which however has lost the veto and is now almost entirely ceremonial.  Its one substantial function is to designate a prime minister; Talabani almost immediately named Maliki, who gets a month to put together a government. 

Allawi and Maliki reportedly sat together in parliament as a sign of solidarity, which won’t mean much in light of the subsequent walk-out.

Still no naming of ministers, or other devilish details like precisely what Allawi has been promised on the national security front.

No need yet to take your seats for the finale.  The scruffily bearded guy won’t sing until the ministerial nominations are ready, which could still be weeks away.

Iraqi parliament convenes in 1st steps to new govt – Yahoo! News.

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The Balkans can still be lost

The International Herald Tribute surprised me yesterday by publishing a piece I did a couple of weeks ago with Soren Jessen-Petersen (formerly head of the UN Mission in Kosovo, now a co-lecturer at Georgetown) on how the Balkans could still go haywire.  For those interested in an overview of what remains to be done there to make peace irreversible, check it out:

The Balkans Can Still Be Lost –

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The scruffily bearded guy gets ready to sing

Maliki and Allawi have at long last apparently cut a deal putting Allawi’s  people in as speaker of the parliament and as head of a committee overseeing national security (but is this the old, ineffective one, or a new one?).  This is the deal Reidar Visser proposed several days ago (Iraq leaders reach deWhy Iraqiyya Should Accept the Speakership « Iraq and Gulf Analysis). Kudos to Reidar!

Hard to believe this saga is at an end until we see a list of ministers approved in parliament.  Is Moqtada al Sadr in or not?  In where?  What is the overall Iraqiyya role?  What is Allawi’s specific role?  Lots of devilish details before it is possible to judge what this all means.

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