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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
05BAGHDAD2424
2005-06-07 15:55:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Baghdad
Cable title:  

RIVAL SUNNI POLITICOS MANUEVERING FOR PLACE IN

Tags:   PGOV  KDEM  IZ 
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						C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 BAGHDAD 002424 

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/07/2025
TAGS: PGOV KDEM IZ
SUBJECT: RIVAL SUNNI POLITICOS MANUEVERING FOR PLACE IN
CONSTITUTIONAL DRAFTING

REF: BAGHDAD 2413

Classified By: A/PolCouns Henry S. Ensher for Reasons
1.4 (B) and (D).

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 BAGHDAD 002424

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/07/2025
TAGS: PGOV KDEM IZ
SUBJECT: RIVAL SUNNI POLITICOS MANUEVERING FOR PLACE IN
CONSTITUTIONAL DRAFTING

REF: BAGHDAD 2413

Classified By: A/PolCouns Henry S. Ensher for Reasons
1.4 (B) and (D).


1. (C) Summary. Rival Sunni politicos made clear in
June 7 conversations that there is continuing progress
in enlarging the Constitutional Drafting Committee by
adding Sunni representatives. Some contacts suggested
that one Sunni faction, the National Dialogue Council,
enjoys the favor of the Sunni Deputy Chair of the
Committee organizer of the effort, Adnan Janabi.
Committee Chair Hammudi warned us about a Dialogue-
dominated Sunni faction, reflecting possible worry for
the legitimacy of the process and the potential
strengthening of a rival to his own Shia group.
End Summary.


2. (C) Dr. Ayad Samarra'i of the Iraqi Islamic Party
(IIP) described to Poloff June 7 current efforts to
enlarge the Constitutional Drafting Committee. He
identified three main issues that require
clarification. Aside from the number of Sunnis to be
added to the Committee, Samarra'i said his greatest
concern was the method of choosing the Sunni
delegates. He complained the mechanism for selection
was not transparent and suggested that Committee
Deputy Chair Adnan Janabi was too close to the
National Dialogue Council. He also claimed the
Chairman of the Drafting Committee, Hamam al Hammudi
"did not want to see a lot of National Dialogue people
on the committee.


3. (C) Samarra'i reiterated that the IIP had
attempted -- in good faith -- to bring in other Sunni
groups. (He cited as proof his party's ongoing
discussions with other political figures beyond the
usual triumvirate of IIP, Muslim Ulema Council (MUC)
and Sunni Waqf (Endownment), mentioning Sunni
secularist Nasir Chardarchi and Communist Party leader
Hamid Majid Mussa. While MUC leader, Harith al Dhari,
does not want to join the process, Samarra'i claimed
others in the organization are willing. The best way
forward, he proposed, is to gather all the various
Sunni factions into one room (including those who were
not present at the meeting convened by Janabi on June
2), to debate the professional merits of all
candidates and choose.


4. (C) Sunni secular political party leaders Hatem
Mukhlis was also generally positive in his June 7
discussion with Poloff about the progress in achieving
Sunni participation in the constitution drafting. He
said the ruling Shia coalition had become more
flexible after the Secretary's visit. Mukhlis has
also submitted lists of potential committee members to
Janabi, but he also said Janabi favors National
Dialogue. Mukhlis said specifically that 10
attendees, out of 56, at Janabi's June 2 meeting of
Sunjni leaders had been from the National Dialogue
Council. Samarra'i had cited the same numbers and
noted that the IIP, MUC and the Waqif had only one
representative each.


5. (C) Dr. Saleh Mutlak, Spokesman for the National
Dialogue generated the most enthusiasm and confidence
to PolOff on June 7. He referred to various
conferences in the Sunni triangle that would help
select nominees, including a June 11 effort in Diyala,
an event in Anbar the week of June 12 and perhaps a
conference in Mosul. Mutlak, signaling the National
Dialogue's position in the catbird seat, suggested the
groups own candidates need not even serve on the
committee. He boasted the Dialogue is so flexible and
open they would support the nominees of other
factions, if they were professionally qualified.


6. (C) Comment. That Mutlak expresses such
generosity about the possibility of non-National
Dialogue on the Committee lends credence to his
rivals' suspicions that the National Dialogue has a
deal with Janabi. Committee Chair Hammudi also
expressed worry to Poloff in a separate June 7
discussion about members of that group dominating
Sunni representation on the Committee. His stated
concern was that the Dialogue was planning to stage a
dramatic withdrawal from the process at its end to
strengthen itself in Sunni politics, while casting
doubt on the legitimacy of the whole process. Hammudi
did not say he would interfere in Janabi's inclusion
efforts, but wanted to signal us that the process
would not be served by the domination of a particular
Sunni faction. A more united Sunni group would also
be a stronger voice against specifically Shia
interests, something that may be in Hammudi's mind as
well.


7. (U) REO HILLA, REO BASRA, REO MOSUL, and REO
KIRKUK, minimize considered.


Jeffrey