Friday, April 22, 2005

What's Arabic for chutzpah?

Despite finishing a distant and disappointing third in the January 30 elections, the party of outgoing prime minister Iyad Allawi
said that they would only join a new government if they were given five cabinet posts, including a deputy premiership[, AFP reported on Friday].

"These are our demands and, if they are not satisfied, we cannot participate in the government," the head of Allawi's negotiating team, Rasem Awady, told a Baghdad news conference.

"We demand the deputy prime minister post and four other ministries," he said,
adding that the party could not make any further "compromises."

And they don't want just any posts, they want central ones, including either defense or interior and trade or oil. Despite his poor showing at the polls, Allawi still has the favor of the US and he may be counting on that in his negotiations for power.

Meanwhile, Iraq still has no government and the effort of writing a new constitution still looms.

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