Friday, September 15, 2006
Shia parties belonging to the United Iraqi Alliance (UIA) bloc agreed during a September 13 meeting to postpone presenting to parliament a draft legislation to establish mechanisms for forming regional governments, Al-Sharqiyah television reported the same day. Two parties in the bloc, the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI) and the Islamic Al-Da'wah Party, attempted twice in recent days to propose a draft law on federalism.
Their attempts were shot down by smaller parties in the bloc, including supporters of Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr and the Islamic Virtue Party (Al-Fadilah). The latter party's spokesman, Sabah al-Sa'di, told Al-Sharqiyah that UIA members concluded that more time is needed to present a viable draft law to parliament. Al-Sadr supporters and the Islamic Virtue Party are strongly opposed to the SCIRI-Al-Da'wah proposal and have said in recent days that they intend to present an alternative draft law to parliament.
COMMENT: Al-Sadr wants to wait for the Americans to leave before a draft law for federalism is drawn up. The UIA cannot agree among themselves and until they can compromise, not much is likely to happen with the draft law. One of the reasons they are not united is that each party has their own agenda and is vying for leadership of the Shia federal state, should it happen. COMMENT ENDS.