Viewing cable 06MOSUL18, HOW JA'AFARI PLAYS IN THE PROVINCES: NINEWA REACTIONS TO
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C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 MOSUL 000018
E.O. 12958: DECL: 2/19/2016
TAGS: PREL PINS PGOV PHUM IZ PINT
SUBJECT: HOW JA'AFARI PLAYS IN THE PROVINCES:
NINEWA REACTIONS TO SHIA COALITION NOMINATION
OF JA'AFARI AS PRIME MINISTER
CLASSIFIED BY: Cameron Munter, PRT Leader, Provincial
Reconstruction Team Ninewa, State.
REASON: 1.4 (b), (d)
¶1. (C). PRT Ninewa spoke to several political party leaders
from across the province to elicit reactions to the Shia
coalition's re-nomination of current Prime Minister Ibrahim Al
Ja'afari to a second term. The overwhelming majority of
political parties appear to be disappointed by the selection.
Although seemingly split along religious and ethnic lines, many
accuse the prime minister of serving the interests of Shias to
the detriment of the country as a whole. Many more parties
accuse him of not working hard enough to improve security and
provide basic services. However, the majority of party
officials, whether for or against Al Ja'afari, said they
supported the selection process as "fair" and "democratic." End
¶2. (SBU) PRT Poloff assembled political party reactions on
February 14, 15, and 16 to the United Iraqi Coalition's (#555)
nomination of Prime Minister Ibrahim Al Ja'afari.
REACTIONS TO JA'AFARI'S NOMINATION
¶3. (C) Here are reactions from Ninewa political parties on the
Shia Coalition's re-nomination of current Prime Minister Al
Ja'afari [NOTE: Some parties, such as the Kurdistan Democratic
Party, refused to comment on the issue]:
-- Kurdistan Islamic Union (KIU): Public Relations Officer
Shawkat Jameel Al-Sharafani said KIU "respects" the democratic
process and the Shia coalition's right to re-nominate Al
Ja'afari as Prime Minister. However, Al-Sharafani said KIU
believes he would "not be a good choice" for the new government.
He said Al Ja'afari's prior tenure as prime minister
demonstrated his inability to control or improve the security
situation, infrastructure, or health and education.
Al-Sharafani called Al Ja'afari a "sectarian" who "favors
Shias," and whose presence resulted in "widening friction"
between Sunnis and Shias. "We believe, unless he changes his
attitude drastically, [Al Ja'afari] will not be able to act as
an effective prime minister in the new Iraqi government,"
-- Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK): Deputy Director for
Ninewa Abdelbari Al Zebari claimed the selection of Al Ja'afari
was "not a wise choice" and that a "new face," such as Dr. Adel
Abdul Al Mahdi, would have been better. "Although he has a
strong personality for leadership, and is honest to some extent,
his experience proved that he is not cooperative," exclaimed Al
Zebari. Al Zebari said the PUK's biggest gripe with Al Ja'afari
was that he did not help solve the issue of displaced persons in
Article 58 of the TAL (136 in the new constitution). However,
Al Zebari said he hoped Al Ja'afari might have more success with
the new government since it has a "broader base." Overall, he
said he believed the selection would have a "negative impact" on
the new government.
-- Independent Syriac Assembly Group: Public Relations Director
Saad Tanyous said the selection of Al Ja'afari was a bad
decision, but that since he was chosen in a democratic way the
process must be respected. Tanyous said he believes Al Ja'afari
is "biased towards Shia," and "cannot work as a nationalist" for
the betterment of the country. "We believe he will have a
negative role in the new government if his policies remain the
same," claimed Tanyous. He said he believed "nothing changed"
in Chaldo/Assyrian villages regarding public services and
unemployment during Al Ja'afari's first term.
-- Assyrian Patriotic Party (APP): Ninewa Director Sargon Saleem
said APP regards Al Ja'afari as "very sectarian" and "[someone
who] favors Shias." Saleem referred to him as "dogmatic" and
not a forward thinker. He claimed the selection of Al Ja'afari
might lead to the creation of a "dictatorship" and have a
negative impact on the new government. He said APP would rather
have "[Iyad] Allawi" as prime minister instead.
-- Shabek Democratic Assembly: Spokesman Saeed Agha said they
support Al Ja'afari's selection and regard him as an "educated
and intelligent leader." Agha claimed the selection was
democratic and should be respected. He said he believes Al
Ja'afari is not a sectarian and will create a balance between
sectarian and secular groups.
-- Chaldean National Congress (CNC): Alqosh Branch Director Oda
Younan said CNC believes Al Ja'afari is an unpopular leader and
a sectarian. Younan claimed Al Ja'afari did not do enough to
improve basic services and the economy, and that the choice for
prime minister should be "[Iyad] Allawi." He said the selection
was democratic and should be respected, however, but that the
choice of Al Ja'afari was "negative" overall.
-- Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution of Iraq (SCIRI):
Spokesman Yahya Al-Haydari said local SCIRI members are happy
with the nomination of Al Ja'afari. He said the prime minister
was successful during his first term. Al-Haydari claimed that
working on issues in the new government would be more difficult,
but that Al Ja'afari's selection should have a positive
-- Iraqi Islamic Party (IIP): Spokesman Younis Hashim said IIP
is not happy with the selection of Al Ja'afari. "He proved he
was a failed leader during his first term," said Hashim. He
called Al Ja'afari a "sectarian" who caused problems between
"north and south," "Sunni and Shia." He claimed Al Ja'afari
"ruled Sunnis with an iron fist," and considered them "all
terrorists." Hashim said IIP is hoping that the nomination
would be defeated in the new national assembly by smaller groups
of parties, such as the Kurd and Tawafoq (IIP) coalitions.
-- Iraqi National Dialogue Council (INDC): Spokesman Musadeq Al
Chalabi said INDC is happy with the selection and supports Al
Ja'afari for prime minister. He called the nomination
"democratic" and that the impact of a second term would be "very
positive." Al Chalabi said he hopes Al Ja'afari would create a
balance among political groups and ministry selections, however.
-- Iraqi Communist Party: Ninewa Regional Committee Secretary
Muthana Lateef said the Communist Party does not support the
nomination of Al Ja'afari, even though they enjoy a good working
relationship with the Shia coalition. Lateef called Al Ja'afari
a "failed leader" who could not provide basic services for the
country. Referring to him as "impulsive" and "opinionated,"
Lateef believes Al Ja'afari is the reason why "Multi-National
Forces are still in the country." Latefsidte Commuist
artybelieve anoher term with Al Ja'afari will spell further
divisions in Iraq since he is "not able" to bring all sides
together. He also claimed a second Al Ja'afari term might lead
-- Assyrian Democratic Movement (ADM): Ninewa Board Member Edmon
Youkhana said ADM does not approve of the selection of Al
Ja'afari because he is an "Islamist" and was a "failure" during
his first term. He said ADM is concerned the new government
would be "Islamic" and have a negative impact on the Iraqi
-- Kurdistan Democratic Solution Party (KDSP): Party
Councilmember Ibrahim Ismael Ahmed said KDSP respects the
democratic pocss of he slection. However, they are
concerned by Al Ja'afari's "poor performance" to provide public
services and improve security. Ahmed claimed Al Ja'afari
"favors Shias" and is "greatly influenced by Iran." He said the
party does not anticipate an easier time for Al Ja'afari this go
round since the new government is broader based. Ahmed said he
hopes the Kurds and Sunni Arab coalitions will play a stronger
role to help Al Ja'afari's government function better. Ahmed
said, however, such an outcome would be "unlikely."
-- Iraqi Turkmen Tribes and Society: Secretary General
Abdul-Hameed Al-Bayati said his party strongly supports the
selection of Al Ja'afari and believes he will be a positive
force in the new government. Al-Bayati claimed Al Ja'afari
accomplished many good deeds during his first term. He
cautioned non-Shia coalition parties, however, by saying they
should follow the "democratic example" set by the Shias when
selecting their own leaders.
-- Mayor of Tal Afar Najim Al Juburi said he does not believe
that Al Ja'afari's nomination by the Shia coalition would ensure
his position as prime minister for a second term.
COMMENT -- DIVISIONS ALONG ETHNIC AND RELIGIOUS LINES
¶4. (C) The divisions along religious and ethnic lines to Al
Ja'afari's nomination by the Shia coalition are quite clear.
The only exception: Comments made by provincial spokesman for
the Sunni-Arab dominated Iraqi National Dialogue Council,
Musadeq Al Chalabi. He did mention, however, that INDC would
"support anyone" as long as they practiced an equitable
distribution of the coveted ministry posts, something several
political parties complained was done unfairly during the first
Al Ja'afari term. Whether Al Ja'afari serves as prime minister
again remains to be seen. What seems clear, however, is that,
based on the comments we received, he has a great deal of
convincing to do among the provincial leaders of Ninewa.