PoliBlog: A Rough Draft of my Thoughts


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  1. Your headline seems to jump the gun a tad, Steven. He is being pressured to step down (which is not exactly news), but he apparently has not done so yet.

    The Yahoo story to which you linked is also has it backwards. It says:

    “The delay in forming a government has prevented the parliament elected Dec. 15 from meeting…”

    While that might be literally true about the political struggles behind the scenes, parliament has to meet formally before it can elect the Presidency Council, which it must do before a prime minister can be selected and a cabinet formed.

    However, I was very pleased to see that the story got this right:

    “As the largest bloc in parliament, the Shiite United Iraqi Alliance gets the first chance to form a government, but it does not have sufficient seats to do so alone.”

    That puts Yahoo in favorable contrast to the NYT, in the story you linked to on Thursday, which suggested there was a “race” between Jaafari and some other candidates.

    Jaafari remains the most likely PM until such time as either the UIA itself dumps him under pressure, or virtually everyone else in parliament comes around to prefer a single alternative. Even in the very unlikely case of the latter happening, Jaafari (or any UIA candidate) has a very powerful first-mover advantage (as the first clause of that last paragraph I quoted alludes to). The UIA candidate would be PM-designate (or formateur in the jargon) and would only have to offer cabinet seats or other enticements to a few members of any potential anti-UIA coalition and then he would have his majority and thus become PM.

    Don’t count him out yet! And even if he is out, look for another UIA choice to become PM.

    Comment by Matthew Shugart/Fruits & Votes — Sunday, March 5, 2006 @ 2:27 pm

  2. Not only was the headline premature (I added the needed “?”) but I mistyped “Trem” as well.

    Now fixed.

    And you are right, I think, that if he gets the boot, it will be another UIA candidate who gets the slot.

    Comment by Dr. Steven Taylor — Sunday, March 5, 2006 @ 2:54 pm

  3. Man, I did not even notice the typo. (And don’t tell me that you are not surprised!)

    Comment by Matthew Shugart/Fruits & Votes — Sunday, March 5, 2006 @ 3:02 pm

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