US embassy cable - 05BAGHDAD2424

RIVAL SUNNI POLITICOS MANUEVERING FOR PLACE IN CONSTITUTIONAL DRAFTING

Identifier: 05BAGHDAD2424
Wikileaks: View 05BAGHDAD2424 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Baghdad
Created: 2005-06-07 15:55:00
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
Tags: PGOV KDEM IZ Sunni Arab Parliament
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 BAGHDAD 002424 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/07/2025 
TAGS: PGOV, KDEM, IZ, Sunni Arab, Parliament 
SUBJECT: RIVAL SUNNI POLITICOS MANUEVERING FOR PLACE IN 
CONSTITUTIONAL DRAFTING 
 
REF: BAGHDAD 2413 
 
Classified By: A/PolCouns Henry S. Ensher for Reasons 
1.4 (B) and (D). 
 
1.  (C) Summary.  Rival Sunni politicos made clear in 
June 7 conversations that there is continuing progress 
in enlarging the Constitutional Drafting Committee by 
adding Sunni representatives.  Some contacts suggested 
that one Sunni faction, the National Dialogue Council, 
enjoys the favor of the Sunni Deputy Chair of the 
Committee organizer of the effort, Adnan Janabi. 
Committee Chair Hammudi warned us about a Dialogue- 
dominated Sunni faction, reflecting possible worry for 
the legitimacy of the process and the potential 
strengthening of a rival to his own Shia group. 
End Summary. 
 
2.  (C) Dr. Ayad Samarra'i of the Iraqi Islamic Party 
(IIP) described to Poloff June 7 current efforts to 
enlarge the Constitutional Drafting Committee.  He 
identified three main issues that require 
clarification.  Aside from the number of Sunnis to be 
added to the Committee, Samarra'i said his greatest 
concern was the method of choosing the Sunni 
delegates.  He complained the mechanism for selection 
was not transparent and suggested that Committee 
Deputy Chair Adnan Janabi was too close to the 
National Dialogue Council.  He also claimed the 
Chairman of the Drafting Committee, Hamam al Hammudi 
"did not want to see a lot of National Dialogue people 
on the committee. 
 
3.  (C) Samarra'i reiterated that the IIP had 
attempted -- in good faith -- to bring in other Sunni 
groups.  (He cited as proof his party's ongoing 
discussions with other political figures beyond the 
usual triumvirate of IIP, Muslim Ulema Council (MUC) 
and Sunni Waqf (Endownment), mentioning Sunni 
secularist Nasir Chardarchi and Communist Party leader 
Hamid Majid Mussa.  While MUC leader, Harith al Dhari, 
does not want to join the process, Samarra'i claimed 
others in the organization are willing.  The best way 
forward, he proposed, is to gather all the various 
Sunni factions into one room (including those who were 
not present at the meeting convened by Janabi on June 
2), to debate the professional merits of all 
candidates and choose. 
 
4.  (C) Sunni secular political party leaders Hatem 
Mukhlis was also generally positive in his June 7 
discussion with Poloff about the progress in achieving 
Sunni participation in the constitution drafting.  He 
said the ruling Shia coalition had become more 
flexible after the Secretary's visit.  Mukhlis has 
also submitted lists of potential committee members to 
Janabi, but he also said Janabi favors National 
Dialogue.  Mukhlis said specifically that 10 
attendees, out of 56, at Janabi's June 2 meeting of 
Sunjni leaders had been from the National Dialogue 
Council.  Samarra'i had cited the same numbers and 
noted that the IIP, MUC and the Waqif had only one 
representative each. 
 
5.  (C) Dr. Saleh Mutlak, Spokesman for the National 
Dialogue generated the most enthusiasm and confidence 
to PolOff on June 7.  He referred to various 
conferences in the Sunni triangle that would help 
select nominees, including a June 11 effort in Diyala, 
an event in Anbar the week of June 12 and perhaps a 
conference in Mosul.  Mutlak, signaling the National 
Dialogue's position in the catbird seat, suggested the 
groups own candidates need not even serve on the 
committee.  He boasted the Dialogue is so flexible and 
open they would support the nominees of other 
factions, if they were professionally qualified. 
 
6.  (C) Comment.  That Mutlak expresses such 
generosity about the possibility of non-National 
Dialogue on the Committee lends credence to his 
rivals' suspicions that the National Dialogue has a 
deal with Janabi.  Committee Chair Hammudi also 
expressed worry to Poloff in a separate June 7 
discussion about members of that group dominating 
Sunni representation on the Committee.  His stated 
concern was that the Dialogue was planning to stage a 
dramatic withdrawal from the process at its end to 
strengthen itself in Sunni politics, while casting 
doubt on the legitimacy of the whole process.  Hammudi 
did not say he would interfere in Janabi's inclusion 
efforts, but wanted to signal us that the process 
would not be served by the domination of a particular 
Sunni faction.  A more united Sunni group would also 
be a stronger voice against specifically Shia 
interests, something that may be in Hammudi's mind as 
well. 
 
7.  (U) REO HILLA, REO BASRA, REO MOSUL, and REO 
KIRKUK, minimize considered. 
 
 
Jeffrey 

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