Crippling split haunts Al-Maliki’s coalition in Iraq

A huge split has apparently gripped the coalition of incumbent Iraqi Prime Minister, Nouri al-Maliki, the Arab-language daily Asharq al-Awsat International reported on Friday.

According to the daily, “A source in the National coalition led by Ammar Hakim, the leader of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq, said that 35 members of the State of Law coalition led by Nouri al-Maliki have contacted the National coalition informing it of their decision to depart from the State of Law.”

“Instead, they said they intend to join any coalition formed among the al-Iraqiya list led by Dr. Ayad Allawi, the National coalition and the Sadr movement led by Muqtada al-Sadr,” the source told Asharq al-Awsat.

According to the daily, the source added that there are “deep schisms forming inside the al-Maliki coalition after he insisted to remain in his position as the prime minister. … The resignation of Maliki’s chief of staff, Tariq Najam, is a result of these divisions.”

Asharq al-Awsat quoted the spokesman for the Tajdid movement led by Dr. Tarqi al-Hashemi, Iraq’s Vice President and a leader in the al-Iraqiya list, as saying, “Al-Iraqiya is strong and stable. Its leaders are not thinking about personal interests or positions but the interests of Iraq and its people. What is important for them is not to betray voters who voted for them. Therefore, al-Iraqiya leaders will not back down from their right to form a government.”

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