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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
10BAGHDAD153 2010-01-21 17:18:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Baghdad
Cable title:  

PARTY BLOC LEADERS SEEK TO FIT SQUARE PEG OF

Tags:   PGOV PREL IZ 
pdf how-to read a cable
VZCZCXRO4625
OO RUEHBC RUEHDH RUEHKUK
DE RUEHGB #0153/01 0211718
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 211718Z JAN 10 ZDK
FM AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 6219
INFO RUCNRAQ/IRAQ COLLECTIVE
					  C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 BAGHDAD 000153 

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/18/2019
TAGS: PGOV PREL IZ
SUBJECT: PARTY BLOC LEADERS SEEK TO FIT SQUARE PEG OF
POLITICAL CONSENSUS SOLUTION INTO ROUND HOLE OF LEGAL
PROCEDURE, TO SOLVE DE-BA'ATHIFICATION CONTROVERSY

REF: BAGHDAD 0147

Classified By: Acting POL M/C Yuri Kim, for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).



1. (C) SUMMARY: Key political leaders continued to meet
behind the scenes January 21 to develop a solution to the
ongoing de-Ba'athification controversy. Badr bloc leader
Hadi al-Amiri, the key Shi'a figure in the negotiations,
continues to shop around the Ammar al-Hakim (ISCI) proposal
(general elements described reftel). Providing an
influential Sunni gloss on the plan, DPM Rafi'e al-Issawi
told Acting POL M/C that the plan could be made to work on
two conditions: the parties succeed in blending an
undeclared political consensus approach with an arguably
legal procedure to implement it, and the Shi'a drop their
insistence on a pledge to the Constitution that denounces
past Ba'athist crimes. IHEC Chairman Faraj al-Haydary
described for poloffs a broad array of parties that had been
affected by the de-Ba,athification list compiled by the
Accountability and Justice Commission (AJC), and he estimated
roughly that at least 50% of the list was Shi'a. Reading
from a list, Haydary said IHEC analysis indicated: 72 from
Allawi's Iraqiyya; 67 from Bolani,s Coalition of Iraq,s
Unity; 24 from Maliki,s State of Law; 17 from ISCI and Badr;
20 from the Sadrist Trend; and 20 from Tawafuq/IIP. Mutlaq
advisor and COR member Dr. Nada Ibrahim told poloff January
21 that all 72 of the Iraqiyya candidates would file appeals
with IHEC. END SUMMARY.

POLITICAL TRACK


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





2. (C) Key political leaders continued to meet behind the
scenes to develop a solution to the ongoing
de-Ba'athification controversy. DPM Rafi'e al-Issawi, a key
Sunni leader, described for Acting POL M/C January 21 a
series of meetings he and Hadi al-Amiri were conducting with
a range of senior political leaders, including PM Maliki.
Amiri continues to shop around the Ammar al-Hakim (ISCI)
proposal, the latest version of which we described in reftel.
The latest elements in the plan, as described by Issawi,
include:

-- Political consensus among the party blocs/coalitions two
key items: to accept the disqualifications of "major"
Ba'athist Party figures for whom there is proof of past
membership and to replace them with non-Ba'athist candidates;

-- Using the seven-judge Cassation Chamber -- established a
week ago to hear appeals of AJC decisions -- to provide legal
cover -- for instructing IHEC to write the political
parties/entities with such orders. (COMMENT: Having been
dropped by the parties, these now-former candidates would
have no recourse to the appeal process. At present,
according to figures presented in the COR, there are some 225
such names on the list, according to Amiri, who would
presumably be eliminated in this expedited manner. END
COMMENT.); and

-- Allowing the candidacy of a much smaller number of
candidates, either former major Ba'ath Party figures who can
prove a record of opposition to the Saddam regime or
candidates like Saleh al-Mutlaq and Dhafer al-Ani, against
whom there are contemporary complaints of Ba'athist
affiliation.



3. (C) However, Issawi insisted that the Sunni side would
not accept the pledge of allegiance to the Constitution (and
condemnation of past Ba'athist crimes), calling it an issue
of dignity for the candidates and "the Sunni street." He
noted that the party blocs, especially ISCI, were working
feverishly behind the scenes to try to reach a deal before
VPOTUS arrived, as no side wanted to appear to have been
QVPOTUS arrived, as no side wanted to appear to have been
pressured into a resolution. Issawi agreed that the Kurds
needed to be brought on board sooner rather than later and
sought Embassy help in getting Fuad Massoum to the table with
him and Amiri, possibly as early as tonight. Issawi
predicted that the Sunni street would accept the proposal as
long as the "big names" (like Mutlaq) were allowed to run.
The Shi'a street would likewise not overly object as long as
the former senior Ba'athist members were not allowed to run.
Issawi speculated that if Mutlaq was allowed to run and won a
seat, political consensus would likely prevail and ensure
that the appeals process did not kick him out.
LEGAL TRACK


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





4. (SBU) Even as political talks continue, separate action
on the legal track is moving forward. President Talabani
told the Ambassador over lunch January 21 (their second
meeting in as many days) that he would meet with VP Adel Abd

BAGHDAD 00000153 002 OF 002


al-Mahdi, who had arrived back in Baghdad, to discuss next
steps. These steps would include seeking a Supreme Court
opinion to invalidate the AJC and its list of over names.
The Ambassador is set to meet with Mahdi later this evening.
Talabani was quoted in the press today stating that the
Presidency Council has written to the Supreme Court asking
whether the AJC had the legal authority to issue the list
banning candidates. He was also quoted describing a
high-level, Presidential panel that will study whether the
AJC acted properly.



5. (U) In a somewhat unexpected development January 21, COR
contacts provided poloffs with a copy of a letter from the
Council of Ministers, dated January 17, that seemed to
question the legality of the Accountability and Justice
Commission's (AJC's) actions. The language in the letter is
turgid, but Embassy legal advisor believes that the intent of
the letter is to raise questions about the statutory
authority of the letter. It is unclear how this letter might
impact the Hakim/Amiri proposal and Presidency Council
efforts.

IHEC CHAIRMAN ON APPEALS PROCESS


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





6. (C) IHEC Chairman Faraj al-Haydary (KDP) appeared in good
spirits after a brief hospitalization January 20. He told
poloffs January 21 that the mood at IHEC is good now that
efforts are underway to accept appeals to IHEC,s January 19
decision to eliminate over 500 candidates under
de-Ba,athification requirements. Haydari told poloffs that
appeals would first be reviewed by the Electoral Judicial
Panel (the three-judge panel designated for IHEC appeals),
and then, if needed, candidates could appeal to the
seven-judge Cassation Chamber designated to review decisions
by the Accountability and Justice Commission (AJC). Haydary
predicted to poloffs that the process would be expedited and
require a maximum of two weeks to complete. He also noted
that the Prime Minister,s building, next door to IHEC, had
already prepared office space to facilitate quick work by the
appeals panel. He expressed confidence that IHEC would
complete the candidate list as soon as overall review of the
candidate names was complete.



7. (C) Mutlaq advisor and COR member Dr. Nada Ibrahim told
poloff January 21 that all 72 of the Iraqiyya candidates will
file appeals with IHEC. She added that Mutlaq was offering
to pay the legal fees for any candidates from his party that
needed assistance for the appeals. (NOTE: Issawi
acknowledged to Pol/C that he had not been able to brief
Allawi on the Amiri plan sound out his support. END NOTE.)

FURTHER REVISIONS TO THE LIST; DEFMIN OFF AGAIN


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

--



8. (C) The AJC sent some small adjustments to the list of
514 names on January 20 which resulted in the removal of
three candidates, including the Defense Minister Abd al-Qadir
al Mufrigi al-Ubaidy. However, Thafer Al-Ani -- the head of
DPM Issawi's National Future Gathering -- remained on the
list, and he had expressed frustration on this point to
Haydary personally. Haydari told poloffs that he replied to
Ani that "this was not a matter for IHEC" and that he should
present his case through the appeals process.

BREAKING THE LIST DOWN A BIT


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





9. (U) Haydary noted a broad array of parties had been
affected by the de-Ba,athification list, and he estimated
that at least 50% of the list was Shi'a. Haydari said that
IHEC analysis indicated: Iraqiyya List had 72 candidates on
QIHEC analysis indicated: Iraqiyya List had 72 candidates on
the list (reftel); Bolani,s Coalition of Iraq,s Unity had
67 names; Maliki,s State of Law list had 24 names; ISCI-Badr
had 17 names; the Sadrists had 20 names; Kurdish bloc had 18
names; Tawafuq/IIP had 20 names; and even the Communist Party
had 6 names.
HILL