BAGHDAD – There have been prominent reports in past days of an alliance between Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s State of Law Coalition and outspoken lawmaker/Iraqi Front for National Dialogue leader Saleh al-Mutlak.
Mutlak has been one of the loudest voices of support for the Shi’a-led government’s reconciliation with elements of the former Baath party. Recently, the prime minister had been pushing for such reconciliation, but seems to have taken a public step back. Secular Sunni leader al-Mutlak, too, has changed his tone since last week.
“The Alliance we have talked about - it’s not a political one. It is an alliance within the governates only, but it is not a political alliance for the general election or for political parties,” al-Mutlak told Iraqslogger on Monday. The somewhat-confusing distinction he made between a “political” alliance and one “within the governates only” was explained as offices from both parties benefiting from a limited coalition in four provinces, but that, on the national level, both sides were to remain completely seperate and unconnected entities.
“We will join with al-Maliki when we see that al-Maliki is a real nationalist and not sectarian anymore, and will start real reconciliation in the country,” al-Mutlak continued. “He is still sectarian. The speech is different, but the speech does not really represent what is inside al-Maliki. From experience we have with him, al-Maliki is only for one sect - and only for Dawa Party, not even the whole sect.”