Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Stalemate in iraq continues; Shiites continue to back Jaafari

Well, the stand-off between the Sunnis and Kurds on the one hand and the Shiite/Iran friendly parties on the other shows no sign of resolving itself.

Shiite Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari's party indicated it was standing firm for him to keep the post of Prime Minister in spite of the Kurds and Sunnis saying flat out that they would never accept him as head of government.

Ali al-Adeeb, a top official in the Dawa party, said the group would not put forward anyone else as the Shiite Muslim nominee for premier unless al-Jaafari decided to step aside.

The alliance of seven Shiite parties has lined up behind Dawa to back al-Jaafari to head the new government. Sunnis and Kurds oppose him..essentially because he's Iran's Man in Baghdad, backed up by the Iran trained and equipped Mehdi Army of Moqata al-Sadr. Neither side has enough votes to force a decision.

The standoff over al-Jaafari forced Iraqi officials to call off a plan for convening parliament Monday.

"Dawa cannot present any candidate unless al-Jaafari decides to step aside," al-Adeeb told The Associated Press. "So far his position has not changed."

Al-Adeeb said he let U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad, who has been pushing Iraqi leaders to break the impasse and form a new government know that in no uncertain terms.

It's not looking good for the idea of One Iraq.

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