Former Iraqi prime minister abandoned by political ally

Former Iraqi prime minister abandoned by political ally
2 min read
12 January, 2015
Nouri al-Maliki faces political wilderness after former supporter Hanan al-Fatlawi announces own political bloc in a move seen as a signal she is willing to work with new prime minister, Haider al-Abadi.
Maliki's allies appear to have made the calculation he will not return to power [AFP]
The former prime minister of Iraq, Nouri al-Maliki, is facing the political wilderness after one of his key supporters announced the formation of her own political bloc in a move widely seen as a prelude to supporting Maliki's replacement.

Maliki most important ally, Hanan al-Fatlawi, on Friday declared she was withdrawing from Maliki's State of Law coalition and forming a new political movement under the name Irada, Arabic for "will".
Fatlawi said her move was directed at marginalised, vulnerable and poor Iraqis as well as the disenfranchised.

The about-face raises the possibility of Fatlawi backing the government of Maliki's successor, Haider al-Abadi, although Fatlawi criticised Abadi repeatedly at the beginning of his tenure towards the end of last year.

Fatlawi did not give reasons for her defection but said she would focus her efforts on aiding the "marginalised, vulnerable and poor Iraqis as well as the disenfranchised".

She said: "The movement seeks to restore balance in the distribution of economic resources among the provinces of Iraq, to reject the subservient policies pursued by some political factions, and demand an independent and clear political resolution."

She said the movement would be represented in all Iraqi provinces in the next election.

Fatlawi demanded full rights be granted to familes whose members had been killed in the fight against the Islamic State group.

Fatlawi was considered one of Maliki's key allies and most fervent advocates of his policies. She failed in her attempt to become health minister, and before the election of Fuad Masum, she stood for the presidency as well.

This is an edited translation from our Arabic edition.