A reported plan by the Iraqi prime minister Nouri Al Maliki to call an early election is insignificant. He might be thinking of ways to end the current stalemate and hopefully get a new and broader mandate. He might as well accomplish that since his opponents are weaker and divided. But that surely will not solve Iraq’s problems — assuming that Al Maliki does care.
The real problem of today’s Iraq is the attempt of one political faction to dominate the political landscape shutting everybody else out.
This seems an unfortunate characteristic of today’s Arab politics. The recent upheaval in Egypt started after the Muslim Brotherhood wanted to control parliamentary committees and the constitutional assembly. That led to the dissolution of the parliament. The same thing happened in Kuwait.
Al Maliki has been described by friends and foes as a control-obsessed leader who would not tolerate opposition or accountability. His ruling coalition is dominated by his Dawa party, which led to the alienation of the majority of Iraq’s Sunnis. They feel discriminated against and denied access to decision-making positions despite the Al Maliki’s continuing rhetoric that claims otherwise.
Iraq problems will continue to escalate unless its current leaders really believe in a genuinely pluralistic democracy. Snap elections are not the remedy. They are a smokescreen to avoid addressing the real issues: one-party rule which is rapidly descending into a little dictatorship.