Barzani President of Iraqi Kurdistan
UPI transmits from al-Hayat a report that the Kurds are upset with Prime Minister Ibrahim Jaafari’s high-handed decision-making style. They say they will leave their coalition in parliament with the Shiite United Iraqi Alliance if Jaafari does not start consulting them more.
It is not clear in the interim constitution that a Kurdish withdrawal would matter. Although a 2/3s majority is required to form a government, it can be kept in power by a simple majority. The United Iraqi Alliance and its close allies have at least 54 percent of seats in parliament.
Meanwhile, Massoud Barzani of the Kurdistan Democratic Party has become president of Kurdistan, the semi-autonomous provincial confederation in the north made possible by over a decade of US protection under the no-fly zone.
Governing councils in the nine southern Shiite provinces have spoken of forming from themselves 3 larger provinces and a regional confederation to be called “Sumer”, to offset the weight of Kurdistan.