Arbil, Iraq (AFP) Nov 8, 2010
Iraq's political leaders on Monday failed to agree on a proposed new power-sharing accord on the first day of all-party talks to break an eight-month deadlock as rival blocs stuck to their demands.
While the Shiite, Sunni and Kurdish leaders said talks would continue in Baghdad on Tuesday and Wednesday, three car bombings in Iraq's mainly Shiite south killed at least 28 people, police and military sources said.
Shiite pilgrims from Iran were the targets in the shrine cities of Najaf and Karbala.
Monday's meeting in the northern city of Arbil attended by Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and his chief rival, former premier Iyad Allawi, followed an agreement struck by the main Shiite bloc and a Kurdish coalition.
But their opening remarks to the three-day meeting indicated neither Maliki nor Allawi had backed down from their positions, prolonging a deadlock which has left Iraq without a government since a March 7 legislative election.
"It is necessary quickly to form a government which reflects the results of the elections," said Allawi, whose Iraqiya party narrowly won the poll and who accuses his rival of refusing to respect the results.
"We must be equal in rights, duties and power-sharing, without anyone having the upper hand," said Allawi, who also accuses Maliki of monopolising power and wants constitutional amendments to lessen the influence of the premier.
While Allawi insisted the election results be respected, Maliki in his remarks referred to respect for the constitution, which reserves maximum rights for the premier's post.
"Partnership must be concluded with true partners who respect the constitution," Maliki said.
With the political deadlock unresolved, a suicide bomber in Karbala drew his booby-trapped vehicle next to a bus carrying Iranian pilgrims, detonated his payload and killed 10 people, four of them pilgrims from Iran, police said.
An attack also targeted three buses carrying Iranian pilgrims in Najaf, another shrine city in the south where a car bombing killed eight people, all but two of them from Iran.
And a car-bomb attack in the port city of Basra killed at least 10 people and wounded 30 at a crowded market, a military officer on the scene said.
Against the background of a flare-up in violence since the end of October, Iraqiya members said their Sunni-backed party was being pressed to accept the post of parliament speaker.
Iraqi Kurdistan's regional president Massud Barzani had called the meeting in the Kurdish capital of Arbil.
The Kurds -- kingmakers by virtue of their seats in parliament -- have been shrewdly trying to extract as many concessions as possible from both sides in return for their support.
The Kurdish coalition has thrown its backing behind Maliki.
But Barzani said at the end of the first day of talks that his bloc's final position on whom it backs as president, prime minister and parliament speaker will be announced after the Baghdad meetings.
"The most important issues must be decided in the next two days," Barzani told reporters.
"The three positions will be discussed tomorrow and the day after, and the decision of the Kurds will be announced in the meeting of parliament," which is scheduled for Thursday.
Government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh said on Sunday a deal had been clinched the previous day between the National Alliance, which represents the main Shiite parties, and the Kurdish coalition.
"An agreement was reached ... in which Jalal Talabani (a Kurd) will continue as head of state, (Shiite) Nuri al-Maliki will stay on as prime minister and Iraqiya will choose its candidate for parliament speaker," Dabbagh told AFP.
Dabbagh said that despite outstanding issues, Iraq's parliament would meet as planned on Thursday to choose a speaker, the first step towards forming a new government.
Iraq's second general election since the 2003 US-led invasion ended in deadlock after none of the main parties won enough of the 325 seats in parliament to form a majority government.
Iraqiya won the election with 91 seats, followed by Maliki's State of Law Alliance with 89.
Parliament has since remained in hiatus, but on October 24 the supreme court ordered MPs to resume work and choose a speaker. The constitution stipulates that a speaker, president and prime minister must be elected in that order.
Maliki's alliance with the Kurds gives the sitting prime minister a clear majority in parliament.
Share This Article With Planet Earth
Iraq: The first technology war of the 21st century
US commander says Qaeda still a threat in Iraq
Baghdad (AFP) Nov 6, 2010
A senior US commander said on Saturday that Al-Qaeda's ability to infiltrate foreign fighters into Iraq had been severely restricted, but that it was still a threat and would remain so. Brigadier General Jeffrey Buchanan said that a deadly attack in Baghdad targeting Christians and explosions in Shiite neighbourhoods across the capital over the past week demonstrated that Al-Qaeda remained d ... read more
Video Captures ABM Capabilities Of Distributed Aperture System For F-35|
Orbital Launches MRT For Joint US/Japan Missile Defense Test
Japan Achieves Third Ballistic Missile Intercept
Russian MPs cool on missile treaty after US vote: official
Taiwan arrests double agent spying for China
Taiwan missile to target Chinese air bases, ports: report
South Korea favors short-range missiles
Aerojet Technology Flight Tested To Replace DPICM Submunitions
US drone strikes kill nine militants in Pakistan
LM TRACER Begins Test Flights Aboard Predator B MQ-9 UAS
US Army Plans Large Manned-Unmanned Demo
Three US drone strikes kill 11 militants in Pakistan
ManTech Awarded US Army Contract To Provide ECCS In Afghanistan
Hughes Undergoing Wideband Global SATCOM Certification
ORBIT To Supply Tri-Band Telemetry Tracking Systems To Patuxent River USNAWC
Raytheon To Provide Improved Track Correlation And Fusion Capability
Europe tests amphibious military capacity in Senegal
Global talks in Laos seek quicker removal of cluster bombs
IAI Awarded Contract For ELM-2105 Radar Based Border Protection Systems
BAE Reaches Milestone With Modernized Howitzer Vehicles
France wants jet fighter talks with Brazil on G20 sidelines
Military Radar Systems Stay On Priority Lists
Italy sells helicopters to Turkmenistan
Iran seen behind arms seized in Nigeria
Obama hails ties with 'world power' India
US urges growing China to be 'responsible player'
US military seeks to expand presence in Asia: Gates
Japan still to blame, China says after ship video leak
Boeing Installing Beam Control System On HEL Laser Demonstrator
Maritime Laser System Shows Higher Lethality At Longer Ranges
Northrop Grumman To Increase Efficiency For Next-Gen Military Laser Technology
Boeing Receives Task Order For Design Of Free Electron Laser Lab Demonstrator
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2010 - SpaceDaily. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement|