Political stalemate in Iraq puts local gov’ts in trouble

October 13, 2010, Wednesday/ 16:41:00
Diyala Governor Abdul Nasser Al Mahdawi and Kirkuk Governor Abdul Rahman Mustafa have said Iraq’s ongoing political stalemate is causing enormous difficulties for local government in the war-torn country. The two governors, who have been in İstanbul, visited the Zaman Media Group on Monday and commented on the recent political deadlock in Iraq.

Following Iraq’s March 7 parliamentary elections, the country’s political groups failed to form a government. Turkey says it would like to see a broad-based government that represents all aspects of Iraqi society. Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu has held several rounds of post-election talks with Iraqi political groups to help form a government embracing all Iraqi factions.

Mustafa said the failure to form a government had negatively affected the entire country and that the failure of a functioning Iraqi parliament troubled local governments. Noting that the country’s 2010 budget had not been approved, he said this was a major challenge for local governments and suggested the new government should include all political parties. “There is an urgent need for a new government,” he said.

Mahdawi has a more pessimistic attitude regarding the current situation in Iraq. Stating that the parties’ failure to form a government opened a very big wound in the country, he said terrorist groups were to making use of the country’s power vacuum, which would harm the fragile country following a period of relative calm. He said that all current ministers knew that they were temporary and acted in accordance with that idea, but that a minister who knows he will leave the post cannot truly serve his country.

The Sunni-backed al-Iraqiya alliance, led by former Prime Minister Ayad Allawi, narrowly won the March parliamentary elections but could not pull in enough partners to gain a majority in the 325-seat chamber. This left the alliance bystanders, while Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki began racking up fresh allies.

Turkey supports Allawi, as Sunni groups find representation in his cross-sectarian alliance. Iran is backing current Prime Minister al-Maliki, who trailed Allawi in the March 7 parliamentary elections, and many observers believe the Islamic republic also stands by anti-Western Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr.

Turkey said it maintained dialogue with all Iraqi groups but that the new Iraqi government should be broad based, meaning the Sunnis, who have no representation in Maliki’s coalition, should also be represented in the government. Turkey also coaxed Sunnis to participate in political processes in the 2005 elections, which some persons claimed was an attempt to revive the Saddam Hussein’s army.

Governors praise Turkish schools in northern Iraq

During the visit, Kirkuk Governor Mustafa and Diyala Governor Mahdawi also praised Turkish schools in northern Iraq. Mustafa, who donated the building and the land for a Turkish school in northern Iraq says he did not hesitate to do so, because the issue was education. He says he was impressed by the education provided at the school and that he ordered other schools in Kirkuk to follow the same curriculum as the Turkish school.Mahdawi also praised the school and called on Turkish entrepreneurs to establish a Turkish school in Diyala as well.

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