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Cablegate: Babil Tribal Leader Predicts Iraqiyya Coalition To

VZCZCXRO1007
RR RUEHBC RUEHDA RUEHDH RUEHKUK
DE RUEHGB #0485 0541520
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 231520Z FEB 10
FM AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD
TO RUCNRAQ/IRAQ COLLECTIVE
INFO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 6788

UNCLAS BAGHDAD 000485

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL SOCI
SUBJECT: BABIL TRIBAL LEADER PREDICTS IRAQIYYA COALITION TO
WIN UP TO 100 SEATS IN PARLIAMENT

REF: BAGHDAD 0422

1. This is a Babil PRT Cable

2. Summary. On February 17, Chief Sheikh Adnan Abd
al-Munim al-Janabi told PRToff that his public call for a
boycott among his predominantly-Sunni 150,000 tribe is mostly
for show. He said that he believes the Iraqiyya coalition
could win as many as 100 seats (of 325) in the elections, but
cautioned that the United States must overtly warn PM
Maliki,s State of Law Alliance to cede power without
resorting to violence. Adnan al-Janabi,s confidence is
supported by an impressive, albeit self described,
get-out-the-vote party machine. End summary.

3. On February 17, PRToff and 3/3 BCT Commander met with
Sheikh Adnan Abd al-Munim al-Janabi, Chief Sheikh for the
large al-Janabi tribe. Sheikh Adnan was Minister of State
without portfolio during the Iraqi Interim Government from
2004 to 2005 and now is running for national office with the
secular Iraqiyya coalition which has, he claims, wide spread
support in Babil and as far away as Mosul and Kirkuk.

4. Sheikh Adnan complained that the de-Ba,athification
exclusion list threatened the credibility of elections
(reftel). This credibility is important not only for Sunnis
who need to be included, but also for Shi,a who need to know
that the election represents all of Iraq. As a result of the
exclusion list, Janabi told PRToffs that he asked his
supporters to boycott the election, but admitted this is for
show. He claimed that he needed to strenuously push for a
boycott for its threat to be credible.

5. Janabi told PRToff that his coalition, Iraqiyya,
expects to win a minimum of eight seats in parliament and
could win as many as 100 (out of 325 seats). He sees Prime
Minister Maliki,s State of Law alliance (SLA) as the main
opposition and calculated that Maliki,s Shi,a-based party
would never win any Sunni votes and would have to win 75
percent of the entire Shi,a bloc to win a majority. He
compared this to his own secular Iraqiyya alliance, which he
predicted would win all of the Sunni votes and as much as 20
percent of the Shi,a. Janabi said that his supporters are
going door to door to demonstrate to all 150,000 al-Janabi
tribesmen on how to vote. They will furnish all potential
voters with instruction cards to take into the polling place,
and will transport people to the polling site if needed.

6. Predicting victory for his 22-party coalition, Janabi
said that the United States must ensure that Maliki cedes
power peacefully. Janabi rejected the notion that this is an
Iraqi election run by Iraqis, insisting that &everyone knows
the United States is influencing the elections8, even as
everyone knows Iran has &encouraged8 the
de-Ba,athification exclusion list. He said that the recent
expulsion of Babil Deputy Governor Iskandar Jawad Hassan
Witwit is an example of what will happen if Maliki,s party
loses the election. Maliki is continuing to enhance his
police and intelligence powers, he alleged, and it will be
like a &bloodless coup8 when he decides not to transfer
power; people like Witwit will just be &removed8. He added
that, whatever the outcome, the forming of a new government
will take no less than two months. Janabi flatly rejected
the notion that his party would form a post-electoral
coalition with other parties.

7. On security issues, Janabi said Maliki will continue
his intimidation campaign with methods such as the
de-Ba,athification exercise, but any overt police
intimidation may be met with secular violence. &We have our
hot-heads and it may be difficult to stop them in the
future.8

8. Comment: Janabi was candid and direct in his statements
Q8. Comment: Janabi was candid and direct in his statements
to PRToff and 3/3 BCT Commander. His description of his
political machine impressed us for its practicality but his
description of the United States and Iran,s election role
struck us as just short of paranoid. If tribal leaders like
Janabi can influence the Sunni community to vote as a bloc
for Iraqiyya, Janabi,s stridency could be part of the
democratic Iraqi landscape. End comment.

FORD

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