Half a year after the Iraqi elections in March, the country is still without a government.
And in some quarters, there is no sign of urgency. Ayad Allawi, leader of the Iraqiya group, said during the week: "I hope in October some time, late October (things will be sorted out) … We are still in a preliminary stage."
And he's says this like it should be somehow reassuring, or even acceptable.
Clever tactics, such as keeping the Iraqi parliament session 'open' in order to postpone the deadline to form a government, only serve to erode people's confidence in the process. Some claim it is actually unconstitutional to do this, but at the very least it is certainly not what was intended when the constitution was drawn up.
And while the game-playing continues, Iraq is suffering. As we reported on Monday, weak laws and regulatory problems are the main deterrent to business in Iraq. Despite UN sanctions, neighbouring Iran is getting three times as much foreign direct investment as Iraq.
Without a government to sort out these issues they will remain a major problem. Would it be too much to ask that Iraq's politicians start doing what they are paid to do?