By Padraig O’Hannelly.
What were you doing on this day three years ago? If you’re Iraqi and were in the country at the time, the chances are that you were casting your vote in the general election, in which more than 6,500 candidates, representing 86 parties, competed for the 325 seats in parliament.
It was to be another nine months before a cabinet was formed, and that cabinet has just another year to complete its work.
So what are we to make of Nouri al-Maliki’s second term in office? On one hand, sectarian tensions are increasing, relations between Baghdad and Erbil continue to be strained, and the parliament has still not passed the hydrocarbon law; on the other hand, oil production is booming, electricity supply has improved in many areas, and houses are being built in vast numbers.
What is your assessment of the part three years, and with one year to go before the next election, assuming the parliament runs its course, what should be the priorities for the cabinet and parliament over that time? Please let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.