Iraq's Government Slow To Take FormSan Francisco Bay Area 25 Mar 2005 06:20 GMT
The leading candidate to become the next Prime Minister of Iraq, Ibrahim Al-Ja’afari, is under pressure from leading Shia to withdraw because of his slow progress forming a new government. Negotiations continue to drag on partly because Ja’afari is struggling to deal with Kurdish demands for greater autonomy and a general resistance to the possible imposition of Islamic law. Despite fundamental differences between many Kurdish and Shia groups, some details of Iraq's future government are starting to emerge. Aside from appointing the Prime Minsiter, Shias are expected to be put in charge of the interior and finance ministries, and will fill the cabinet post of national security adviser. The Kurds will most likely get to appoint Jalal Talabani as president and receive seven to eight ministries, including the foreign ministry and oil. The speaker of parliament is expected to be a Sunni Arab, possibly the current interim president, Sheikh Gazi al-Yawar. Many Sunni leaders are weary about the proposed federalist structure for Iraq , warning this only plays into the hands of the occupation by contributing to slice the country and that calls for federalism 'only serve the interests of the occupation and fuel sectarian strife by pitting Iraqis against one another'.