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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
07BAGHDAD2329 2007-07-13 14:15:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Baghdad
Cable title:  

INDEPENDENT SHI'A MP ON CURRENT POLITICAL

Tags:   PGOV PINS IZ 
pdf how-to read a cable
VZCZCXRO2149
PP RUEHBC RUEHDE RUEHIHL RUEHKUK
DE RUEHGB #2329 1941415
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 131415Z JUL 07
FM AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 2207
INFO RUCNRAQ/IRAQ COLLECTIVE
					  C O N F I D E N T I A L BAGHDAD 002329 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/12/2017
TAGS: PGOV PINS IZ
SUBJECT: INDEPENDENT SHI'A MP ON CURRENT POLITICAL
MANEUVERINGS

Classified By: Deputy Political Counselor Charles O. Blaha for reasons
1.4 (b) and (d).

---------------------------
Skepticism on Group of Four
---------------------------



1. (C) Taha Dera, an independent Shi'a CoR member now a
member of Qassim Daoud's Solidarity Bloc, expressed
skepticism to PolOff on July 11 about prospects for the
ISCI-Dawa-KDP-PUK alliance, aka the "group of four." The
alliance cannot count on the Ja'fari branch of Dawa, he
reasoned, and the Sadrists and Dawa Tanzim feel isolated from
it as well. Dera was also critical that alliance members
were discussing the alliance in the media before clarifying
its program. However, he said that many independent Shi'a
CoR members would support the alliance as a new political
front if it had true Sunni participation. They might also
support it as a mechanism for energizing the CoR, as distinct
from a formal political front, even if it did not include
Sunnis, he continued. Fadhila, he predicted, would go to the
highest bidder as it was eager to secure a place in the
government. (Note: Several Fadhila members told PolOff on
July 8 that they expect major changes in the government and
are being courted by the Shi'a coalition, i.e. Dawa and ISCI.
End note.) Dera offered typical critiques of the Maliki
government, saying he would prefer to see Maliki replaced or,
failing that, a wholesale ministerial shuffle that would
bring in technocrats.



--------------------------


Mashhadani and Legislative Priorities


--------------------------





2. (C) Offering his view on key issues facing the CoR, Dera
said that his personal preference was that CoR Speaker
Mashhadani be allowed to return so that Tawafuq would return
and the CoR could address key legislation for the rest of
July. He acknowledged, however, that most Shi'a CoR members
did not share his view and would certainly not accept
Mashhadani's return without a guarantee of when he would
leave. A member of the Regions and Governorate Affairs
committee, Dera said that the committee had "incorporated the
good suggestions from the Prime Minister's office and left
out the bad" on pending provincial powers legislation. He
opined that there would not be significant political
opposition to the law as the CoR's main blocs participated in
the committee. He said that the IHEC would promulgate
regulations for provincial elections which the CoR must then
approve and predicted that the closed list system would not
survive, given a general recognition among CoR members that
it did not allow for sufficient accountability to
constituents. While Dera supports early provincial elections
from a political perspective, he argued that the security
situation would not allow them in provinces like Diyala,
Kirkuk, and Ninewa.



--------------------------


Diyala


--------------------------





3. (C) A Diyala native and active member of the Diyala
support committee, Dera said recent MNF-I operations in
Diyala are a step in the right direction but identified two
problems. He accepts the idea of integrating into the police
force elements of the local Sunni population dedicated to
fighting al-Qaeda, including members of the 1920s brigade.
However, Dera claimed that in the areas where this
recruitment was taking place in Baquba, Shi'a had been
completely driven from their homes; thus a force of local
recruits would not include Shi'a, which he said was
unacceptable. Secondly, Dera claimed that the MNF units that
undertook operations in Baquba had been transferred from
other places in Diyala, leaving those places under-protected
and vulnerable to terrorists.
CROCKER