Thursday, April 20, 2006

What May Be Some Good News From Iraq

Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim Jafari has made it clear that he is willing to step aside to help get some form of new government in place.

asking the alliance of Shiite parties to decide whether to keep him as their candidate for prime minister or choose a new face who might win the wider backing needed to form a national unity government.

Iraqi politicians have been split on sectarian lines over Jafari's bid for re-election, paralyzing politics and allowing an explosion of bloody sectarian and ethnic street fighting across Iraq, mostly between Sunnis and Shiites.

Of course a new person has to be found who is both willing to accept the position, and acceptable to at least one of the minority factions. And then there is no guarantee that he will not be an even less effective leader than Jafari is seen to have been.

But, at this point, any movement has to be greeted by at least a little hope.

We may have a new name to consider.

BAGHDAD, Iraq -- Shiite politicians agreed Friday to nominate Jawad al-Maliki as prime minister, replacing the incumbent in a bid to clear the way for a long-delayed new government, two Shiite officials said.

Al-Maliki is a top ally of outgoing Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari, whose nomination had sparked sharp opposition from Sunni Arab and Kurdish leaders and caused a monthslong deadlock.


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