Light violence left five dead and one wounded across Iraq, but there may be more positive signs that current political tensions could soon end: The Iraqiya party and the National Alliance have been discussing ways to resolve the crisis.
One of the suggestions that the Alliance has made to Iraqiya concerns Deputy Prime Minister Saleh al-Mutlaq. In December, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki wanted to fire Mutlaq after the deputy called him a dictator. However, the House of Representatives, which must approve the sacking, has so far refused to grant the premier his wish.
To end this particular quarrel, the pro-Maliki National Alliance recommended that Mutlaq apologize or resign. If not, then Iraqiya should nominate a new deputy. Iraqiya has insisted that Maliki should just drop his attempt to get rid of Mutlaq.
The Alliance also wants Iraqiya to announce their nomination for defense minister soon and pressed the party for an "acceptable candidate." An agreement that allowed for the formation of the new government in 2010 gave Iraqiya the right to certain posts, including that of defense minister. Maliki has since dragged his feet in fulfilling those promises. The prime minister’s intractability caused Iraqiya to walk out of parliament in December. Although the boycott ended this week, cabinet members are still remaining on the sidelines.
Meanwhile, a spokesperson for Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani said the cleric is urging politicians to make such concessions and rapidly draw this crisis to a close. Sistani is Iraq’s highest-ranking Shi’ite cleric.
At least five Iraqis were killed and one more was wounded.
The murder of a man set off protests in Choman. The demonstrators wanted police to hand over the alleged murderer. The body, which was apparently dumped in a river, has yet to be found.
A soldier was shot dead at a checkpoint in Zuhur.
A bomb wounded a Sahwa member in Baquba.