As a member of the Tawafuq Front cast serious doubts on the efforts of ex-Prime Minister Iyad Allawi to bring down the ruling coalition in the parliament, reports emerged of fresh efforts to build an opposition coalition, without Allawi’s participation.
Iyad al-Samara’i, the head of the Iraqi Islamic Party and MP with the Tawafuq Front, has denies that Tawafuq will join the Allawi bloc, saying that Adnan al-Dulaimi, the head of the Tawafuq Front, “was hasty” in his announcement last month that his front would join in Allawi’s opposition efforts, al-Quds al-Arabi reported in Arabic on Friday.
Dilshad Miran, head of the delegation representing the Kurdish regional authority to Baghdad, also said that the Kurds would not be dragged into the sectarian conflicts in Iraq and the region, an answer he gave in response to a question over reports that Massoud Barzani had agreed to Kurdish participation in the efforts to form a new political bloc, with the backing of Saudi Arabia.
At the same time, an MP from Allawi’s own bloc, Azat Shabandar, confirmed that Allawi’s efforts did not enjoy any American support.
As reported earlier, another setback came for the Allawi efforts when the Fadhila Party, which had earlier withdrawn from the governing United Iraqi Coalition, announced that it would support the Maliki premiership in spite of its withdrawal from the government.
It has been reported earlier that the Kurdish parties and the Fadhila party had not agreed to join the Allawi bloc, but the withdrawal of support from the Tawafuq Front would set Allawi’s efforts back to square one. The alliance of Allawi's list and the Tawafuq Front, the largest Sunni bloc in the Parliament, was expected to be the core of the new opposition front.
The admission of a lack of American support for the efforts, if proven to be true, would also dispel suspicions that the US had decided to back Allawi’s attempt to bring down the Maliki government and replace it with a “strongman” in the form of Allawi’s return to power.
The Sunni Iraqi vice president, Tariq al-Hashemi, of the Iraqi Islamic Party, traveled to Amman on Sunday, for a three-day visit, during which he is reportedly engaging in political discussions with “parliamentary personalities” from the Fadhila Party, the Tawafuq Front, and the Iraqi Dialogue bloc, as well as some “influential personalities from the United Iraqi Coalition.”
The report does not mention any involvement of Allawi or any of his representatives.
The agency reports that political figures who attended the Amman talks reported positively of the efforts, saying that the talks built a climate of understanding, which could in the future result in the consolidation of a new parliamentary bloc.
It’s difficult to imagine how Hashemi's efforts will gather enough seats in parliament to unseat the Maliki government, especially in light of Allawi’s apparently failed efforts. However, the Amman talks seem to indicate that those parties that lack confidence in the Maliki government also lacked confidence in Allawi.