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WikiLeaks: 2005-10-24: 05BAGHDAD4376: Allawi Aiming for Size Over Substance in Coalition Negotiations

Posted: Friday, October 28, 2011 at 07:28 PM CT


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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
05BAGHDAD4376 2005-10-24 12:23 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Baghdad
This record is a partial extract of the original cable.
The full text of the original cable is not available.
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 BAGHDAD 004376 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/25/2015 
Classified By: Political Counselor Robert S. Ford 
Reasons 1.4 (B) and (D) 
1. (C) SUMMARY AND COMMENT: With coalition 
negotiations entering their final four days, former 
Prime Minister Allawi appears to have opted for size 
over substance in forming his slate.  He has pulled 
together a moderate -- but not clearly liberal -- 
coalition including Ghazi al-Yawar's party, the Iraqi 
Communist Party, and several smaller Islamist, 
nationalist, and minority groups.  He appears to have 
failed to convince major Sunni Arab groups to join his 
coalition or to persuade major Shia Islamist leaders 
to break with theirs.  He has also, perhaps 
inevitably, alienated some liberal politicians who 
insisted on a tighter coalition with a clearer, shared 
Allawi's coalition appears to have scared the Shia 
Islamists into feverish and continuing negotiations to 
preserve the United Iraqi Alliance.  Allawi is clearly 
counting on amassing strength in numbers and must be 
hoping that Grand Ayatollah Sistani abstains from 
specific party endorsements in this vote.  He is also 
banking that promises of post-election support from 
Sunni Arab politicians will propel him to the prime 
ministership even if his is not the largest bloc in 
the next parliament.  Much of the hurried negotiating 
is not finished, and we can expect more political 
alliance twists and turns before the October 28 
election list filing deadline.  END SUMMARY AND 
A Polyglot Coalition 
3. (C) Wael Abd al-Latif, a former judge and TNA 
member, told PolOff October 24 that Allawi has made 
major strides in pulling together a diverse coalition 
that includes Shia, Sunni Arab, Islamists, minorities, 
and nationalists.  Latif insisted that Allawi was 
still working to convince the Sunni Arab Iraqi Islamic 
Party and Adnan al-Duleimi's "Iraqi Conference" to 
join the fold.  Top Allawi confidante and TNA member 
Rasim al-Awadi told PolOff October 24 that 
negotiations are ongoing, but the slate currently 
includes the following key groups and leaders: 
-- Iraqi National Accord (Wifaq) 
-- Iraqi Communist Party 
-- Vice President Ghazi al-Yawar's Iraqiyoon list 
-- Arab Socialist Movement leader Abd al-Ilah Nasrawi 
-- Yunadam Kanna's Assyrian Democratic Front 
-- Sabean Mandaean leaders 
-- Da'wa Islamic Movement (a splinter of the Da'wa 
Party in Basra) 
-- TNA Speaker Hachim al-Hasani 
-- Basra religious leader Shaykh Khayrallah al-Basri 
4. (C) Allawi's success has produced a counter- 
reaction from the Shia Islamist bloc, Latif 
acknowledged.  The Islamists appear determined to 
recreate the United Iraqi Alliance in the face of 
Allawi's coalition, he said.  Latif predicted that the 
Shia Islamists would succeed in that effort despite 
Allawi's efforts to draw away the Fadila (Islamic 
Virtue) Party.  He insisted, however, that even Grand 
Ayatollah Sistani's backing would not offer the boost 
in this election that it did in the last one. 
Sunni Arab Bloc Aligned 
5. (C) Leading Sunni Arab parties appear aligned in a 
coalition to be entitled the "National Consensus 
Front."  The coalition includes the Iraqi Islamic 
Party, National Dialogue Council, and Adnan Duleimi's 
Conference of the Iraqi People, previously known as 
the Sunni Conference.  National Dialogue Council 
Secretary General Abd al-Nasser al-Janabi told PolOff 
October 23 that Salah Mutlak had not really broken 
with the Dialogue Council despite his public 
announcements to the contrary. 
One Sunni Leaders Stays Solo 
6. (C) Liberation and Reconciliation Bloc Leader 
Mish'an Jaburi, who won a single TNA seat in the 
January elections, told PolOff October 23 that he 
would run independently in the coming elections.  He 
said he had rejected entreaties from the Iraqi Islamic 
Party to join the larger Sunni coalition because he 
did not consider the grouping liberal enough.  He also 
said he rejected offers from Ayad Allawi because of 
political differences that he would not specify. 
Jaburi said he had assured Allawi that he would 
support him in the next parliament.  Jaburi briefly 
served as governor of Mosul in 2003 but is a native of 
Salah al-Din.  He said he plans to run lists in Salah 
al-Din, Ninewa, Basra, Anbar, and Kirkuk. 
A Smaller Liberal Slate In the Works 
7. (C) Several smaller liberal, democratic figures 
appear to have given up on joining the Allawi 
coalition and are discussing a separate slate. 
National Democratic Party leader Abid Faisal al- 
Sahlani, who won a single seat in the January 
elections, told PolOff October 23 that Allawi had 
essentially rebuffed his efforts to unite.  Sahlani 
said he had sought out a partnership with Allawi that 
would draw together exclusively liberal, democratic 
figures.  Instead, he lamented, Allawi had worked to 
bring together an amalgam of Islamists, nationalists, 
and communists who are not united by any single 
vision.  Sahlani is forming a competing group with 
what he described as an alliance of alienated and 
uncompromising liberals.  He said that group would 
include Baghdad leaders included Provincial Council 
chairman Mazin Makiya, Karada District Council 
Chairman Muhammad Rubai'e, former Shia General Tawfiq 
al-Yasiri, and moderate cleric Ayad Jamal al-Din. 

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