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Alawi Fights to Remain Iraqi PM

Against all odds, Iraq’s interim Prime Minster Iyad ‘Alawi is trying to form a broad coalition, and fight for the post of prime minister, reports the Al-Jazeera website.

‘Alawi’s party won only 14 percent of the votes in the January 30 elections, and his chances of winning the post of prime minister are therefore slim, experts say.

Meanwhile, the favorite candidate for the job is Ibrahim Al-Ja’afri, who was nominated by Iraq’s dominant Shi’ite political party, the United Iraqi Alliance (UIA). The UIA won 48% of the parliamentary seats, and is now the most powerful party in Iraq.

Speaking at a press conference, ‘Alawi did not provide details of his proposed coalition, simply saying, “There are other lists and other brothers in smaller lists which won the elections, and we are working with some of those lists to form a national Iraqi democratic coalition which believes in Iraq and its principles.”

Al-Ja’afari is “a man I can work with, but to discuss who will be the prime minister of Iraq, this still needs more time,” Kurdish interim vice president Rowsch Nouri Shaways told reporters. The Kurdish Alliance, which won 26% of the votes, is the second most powerful party in the parliament, and therefore any coalition would have to include this alliance.

According to the interim constitution adopted last year, the parliament must elect a president and two vice presidents by a two-thirds majority. The three must then unanimously choose a prime minister subject to assembly approval.