after Kirkuk… New Initiative to End Conflicts Over Diyala Governor Position

The “knot” of forming a government in Diyala is growing larger, after the failure of its council to choose a governor for the past six months. The conflicts revolve around the position of governor between the State of Law Coalition led by Nouri al-Maliki and the Badr Organization led by Hadi al-Amiri, despite the latter’s concession of the position.

In a new step to end these conflicts, Turki al-Attabi, the senior member of the Diyala Council, launched an initiative on Monday to resolve the political crisis that has gripped the province for several months.

Al-Attabi said in a statement to “Al-Alam Al-Jadeed,” “As the senior member of the Diyala Provincial Council, it is my duty to be part of the solution to the knot of forming the local government. It has been almost five months since the first session, and the political blocs are clashing with each other, divided into two rival teams, each following a policy of arm-twisting to win the formation of the government.”

He added, “Today, I am presenting an initiative from a bloc comprising five political parties, with their candidate for governor being Mr. Abdul Rasool al-Attabi, the candidate from the State of Law. The other team comprises three parties, with their candidate for governor being Mr. Muthanna al-Tamimi, the candidate from the Badr Organization. I invite the other team, which supports the Badr Organization’s candidate, to a national space by holding a session with all 15 members and complete quorum. Each team presents its candidate for the governor position, and whoever gets the most votes will be Diyala’s governor.”

He explained, “In this way, the knot is resolved, and the governor is legally, legitimately, and customarily chosen. So, what is the fear? Anyone who fails to respond to this invitation is working to disrupt the government and bears full responsibility towards our people. The judgment is yours, noble people.”

Earlier on Monday, Hatem al-Taie, the Secretary-General of the Arab Council in Kirkuk, revealed a political movement to hold the first session of the provincial council and save it from dissolution.

Informed sources told “Al-Alam Al-Jadeed” on June 26 that a ruling alliance was formed in Diyala comprising Sunni and Shia political forces. The movement is ongoing among all parties to decide the shape of this alliance, with the Badr Organization continuing to press for the position away from all political agreements.

According to the latest developments, the governor of Diyala will be from the State of Law Coalition led by Nouri al-Maliki, the provincial council chairman will be from the Sovereignty Alliance led by Khamis al-Khanjar, and other positions have yet to be agreed upon. The movement is ongoing in Baghdad to finalize all positions and vote on them in a session likely to be held this week.

Turki al-Attabi, head of the State of Law Coalition in Diyala, recently announced his withdrawal from the Islamic Dawa Party, led by Nouri al-Maliki, to continue working as an independent politician. He stated in a press release to “Al-Alam Al-Jadeed” that “many issues have deviated from their correct paths, and the criteria have strayed from the right approach. Since my success has caused discomfort to some members of the Dawa, I had to decide to leave the Islamic Dawa Party.” He added, “Therefore, I decided to announce my departure from the Islamic Dawa Party and the State of Law Coalition, and I declare myself an independent politician and an independent member of the Diyala Provincial Council.”

Salah al-Tamimi, a member of the Diyala Provincial Council from the “Sadikoun” bloc, had previously stated that the Diyala political knot is difficult and its resolution requires time and agreements, which are currently distant. He noted that the position of “Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq” is firm and clear in supporting the formation of a new local government capable of managing the upcoming phase, denying that the Diyala issue is related to resolving the presidency of the parliament.

The leader of the Badr Organization, Hadi al-Amiri, wanted to renew Muthanna al-Tamimi’s term as Diyala governor for a second term but faced rejection from Shia and Sunni blocs. This forced him to withdraw and present another candidate, Mohammed Jassim al-Omiri, the son of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Federal Court, as a compromise candidate for governor, who was also rejected. This led him to concede the position to the State of Law Coalition, which also presented three candidates in succession, all of whom were rejected, finally settling on Khalifa al-Tamimi.

On January 21, the Independent High Electoral Commission ratified the final results of the Diyala Provincial Council elections, announcing the victory of the Diyala National Coalition with 107,554 votes, securing four seats. The National Progress Coalition received 79,934 votes, securing three seats, the Sovereignty Coalition received 73,890 votes, securing three seats, Diyala Merit received 44,195 votes, securing two seats, the Determination of Iraq Alliance received 44,061 votes, securing one seat, the Iraqi Basis Coalition received 29,961 votes, securing one seat, and the Kurdistan Democratic National Union received 28,648 votes, securing one seat.

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