April 3, 2005
Break in Iraq Political DeadlockTopics: Middle East News and Perspectives
As somewhat of a surprise, at least to me, Iraqi politicians have chosen a Sunni Arab to be the speaker of parliament - ending a political impasse and taking a major step toward forming a government. The nine weeks it's taken to accomplish this has probably helped the insurgents continue some of their momentum and hasn't helped to reduce the attacks to the extent that they could have been had a new government moved forward more quickly. There's a lot of anger among ordinary Iraqis who braved the threat of violence in order to vote in January - only to see politics descend into squabbling, and the squabbling isn't over yet.
In a ballot, the members of the 275-seat National Assembly voted overwhelmingly to elect Hajem al-Hassani, the industry minister, as speaker. Hassani, a religious Sunni, is an ally of interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi.
"We passed the first hurdle," Hassani told reporters. "The Iraqi people have proven that they can overcome the political crisis that has plagued the country for the last two months."
But he also warned against complacency: "If we neglect our responsibilities and fail, we will hurt ourselves and the people will replace us with others."
Captain's Quarters reminds us that as Dick Cheney said a week ago, the Iraqis have been frustrated by the slow progress, but the simple fact is that Iraqis have little experience in multiparty electoral and parliamentary politics. They have not developed the skills necessary to effect the kinds of compromises and coalition-building required to effectively form parliamentary governments. The only way to learn is to actually do it, and it appears that the Iraqi politicians may have worked their way through the first try.
Hat tip - Captain's Quarters
Posted by Hyscience at April 3, 2005 7:09 PM
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