Critics might argue that the formation of the new government has taken too much time. Under normal circumstances, it would be expected that a political party that had emerged from national elections only a handful of votes short of an absolute majority would proceed to form a government forthwith. But the conditions in Iraq are not normal; experience with the democratic process of give and take has been absent for decades; and the challenge has been not simply to form a government which commands a majority but to form a government that enjoys sufficiently broad national consensus to draw into its orbit forces that have been suspected of providing support to insurgency.
Also, it is to the credit of the Iraqis that at no time during this arduous process of putting together a national government has any political entity threatened to use force to impose its views on others. At no time, for example, did anyone threaten Dr. al-Ja'fari, who obviously was unable to form a government given the majority of the votes in Parliament which lined up against him, with non-parliamentary measures.
The extensive discussions that led to the establishment of the government was a lesson for the Iraqis about negotiating political deals, but it was also a lesson that has caused so much discomfort to the leaders in neighboring countries accustomed to passing command from the top down and to hear no one's voice by their own.
Thursday, June 15, 2006
Middle East Media Research Institute on the New Iraqi Government
A brief overview of the new Gov here and MEMRI's conclusion.