US embassy cable - 05BAGHDAD4378

CHALABI PLAN FOR ELECTIONS

Identifier: 05BAGHDAD4378
Wikileaks: View 05BAGHDAD4378 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Baghdad
Created: 2005-10-24 12:49:00
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
Tags: PGOV KDEM PNAT KCOR IZ Elections
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 004378 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/24/2015 
TAGS: PGOV, KDEM, PNAT, KCOR, IZ, Elections 
SUBJECT: CHALABI PLAN FOR ELECTIONS 
 
Classified By: Political Counselor Robert S. Ford for 
Reasons 1.4 (b) and (d). 
 
1.  (C) Summary. One of Ahmad Chalabi's senior 
advisors indicated to PolOffs willingness to form an 
alliance with Ayad Allawi to form one liberal, 
moderate, centrist coalition. If an agreement cannot 
be reached before the coalition registration deadline 
-- and we doubt an agreement would be possible -- 
Nabil Mousawi anticipates Chalabi would seek his own 
moderate coalition that will include Sunnis.  Mousawi 
does not expect, however, that a Chalabi coalition can 
rival an all Shia Islamist list.  If the all-Shia 
Islamist list re-emerges, Chalabi would likely rejoin 
it. End Summary. 
 
Possible Allawi/Chalabi Deal 
---------------------------- 
 
2.  (C) Transitional National Assembly (TNA) member 
and senior official in the Iraqi National Congress 
(INC) Nabil Hasan Ahmad Mousawi met with PolOffs on 
October 23 to discuss Ahmad Chalabi's plans for the 
national elections. Mousawi explained that the best 
chance for moderates to win the election is to have 
one large, moderate and liberal coalition - a 
coalition that included both Allawi and Chalabi. 
Mousawi claimed that Chalabi's circle consists of four 
advisors - Chalabi's eldest brother Jawad in London, 
Aras (NFI) in Baghdad, American contractor Francis 
Brooke and Mousawi.  He claimed that Chalabi's 
advisors have been urging Chalabi to broker a deal 
with Allawi because they see it as the moderates' best 
chance of winning.  Mousawi, however, described the 
relationship between Allawi and Chalabi as difficult. 
They have known each other since the age of two, and 
Mousawi added that they are related on several levels 
and tend to kill each other with "politeness." 
 
3.  (C) Mousawi admitted that neither Allawi nor 
Chalabi are perfect.  He added that Allawi is tainted 
by his circle of advisors and Chalabi is tainted by 
hints of corruption.  Both men have problems following 
through with commitments and any alliance between the 
two would result in Allawi taking the top position and 
Chalabi the second.  Mousawi said that Chalabi has 
remained a relative mystery to PolOffs in Baghdad 
because he still feels the sting of what happened 
during the CPA days.  Chalabi sometimes listens to 
longtime friends and colleagues, but is more swayed by 
analytical arguments than personal appeals. 
 
4.  (C) In response to PolOff's query, Mousawi did not 
deny that Chalabi is the source of information leaked 
on corruption in the ministries to the press. 
Chalabi's intent was not to defame Allawi, he said, 
but to clear out those who are fully guilty of the 
charges.  Mousawi commented on how angry Chalabi got 
when UK Ambassador Patey last week urged him to cease 
and desist.  Mousawi added that Chalabi considered the 
UK Ambassador's request a veiled threat. 
 
5.  (C) If an Allawi/Chalabi deal does not 
materialize, Mousawi expects the INC to establish its 
own liberal and moderate coalition by the IECI 
coalition October 28 registration deadline.  He was 
insistent that the party would include moderate Sunnis 
and added that he has been negotiating with members of 
the Iraqi Islamic Party (IIP).  He said that INC was 
also in negotiations with Fadeela Party's Nadeem al- 
Jabiri, Shia Independent Qassim Daoud, Monarchist 
Faisal Qaraogholi and moderate Dawa members.  Mousawi 
reported that there is a serious split between Dawa 
and Jaafari and added that everyone knows Jaafari has 
been clandestinely setting up his own offices in the 
governorates to run separately.  (Comment:  that would 
be news to us, and a surprise given Jaafari's general 
approach to management.  End Comment.) 
 
6.  (C) Mousawi added that there would be need to 
recruit Kurdish parties for the coalition.  In his 
view, most Shia consider Jalal Talabani a 'good guy 
whom we all like.'  Mousawi doubted that anyone would 
really object if Talabani kept his position as 
President. 
 
7.  (C) Mousawi lamented that the 7-day extension for 
coalition registration could result in an all Shia 
list.  He added that several entities want to re- 
construct Sistani's 169 list.  Mousawi said if this 
happens, the INC would be compelled to rejoin because 
it has Sistani's seal of approval. 
 
Prediction about Iraq's Iranian future 
-------------------------------------- 
 
8.  (C) Mousawi told PolOffs that most people do not 
understand that the upcoming national election is the 
only opportunity for a moderate and centrist 
government to take hold.  He warned if Shia Islamists 
win the election, they would have four years to 
consolidate power and break the Iraqi moderates 
movement.  With the Islamists in power, Mousawi 
predicts that SCIRI leader Abdul Aziz al-Hakim will 
return to Najaf to pursue his religious career leaving 
Badr Corps head Hadi al-Amari in his stead as head of 
SCIRI's political arm, allowing a shadow Iranian 
government to reign. 
 
9.  (C) On a personal note, Mousawi told PolOffs that 
he will not enter the upcoming elections.  He added 
that his experience as a TNA member did not suit him. 
Mousawi said he would prefer to be an executive 
working behind the scenes for a politician.  He also 
plans to spend more time with his 3 children in 
London. 
 
Comment 
------- 
 
9.  (C) We find it a hard to imagine a Chalabi-Allawi 
electoral alliance since Chalabi himself is spurring 
on the hounds investigating corruption that are 
causing Allawi advisors to squirm.  Allawi is moving 
ahead on his election coalition (septel) and Chalabi 
is trying to calculate the best angles.  We found it 
particularly interesting that Mousawi thought Chalabi 
would rejoin a Shia Islamist unity list if that list 
appears coming to fruition again. 
 
 
Satterfield 

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