Aljazeera.net reported that Kirkuk may become a “region” –- unaffiliated with Kurdistan or the rest of Iraq -– for the next half-decade until a decision is made on its final status ... Kirkuk is one of the main issues preventing the Iraqi legislature from reaching an agreement over a proposed bundle of constitutional revisions.
On a related front, al-Hayat reported that the Iraqi parliament remains unable to move forward on the proposed constitutional amendments. Many consider the amendments to be the last chance to salvage the “political process” in Iraq. Broadly speaking, the potential revisions to the constitution seek to widen political representation and resolve some of the issues that have been paralyzing the Iraqi political scene for the last years.
Oil, de-ba'thification, the identity of Iraq, and Kirkuk are some of the more heated topics that are being currently negotiated by the political elite. The political pressure on Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, al-Hayat said, is two-fold: on the one hand, Iraqi parties remain uncompromising over the vital issues under discussion, and negotiations are at a stalemate; at the same time, the US is heavily pressuring the Maliki government to hasten the passage of the amendments, the newspaper said.
Al-Mada and Az-Zaman reported over the last few days that [former Prime Minister Iyad] 'Allawi’s plan is to announce the creation of a new major alliance in the Iraqi parliament (seeking to topple al-Maliki’s cabinet) in parallel with his coalition’s withdrawal from al-Maliki’s government.
Al-Mada claimed that a plan by Iyad 'Allawi to withdraw his bloc’s ministers from the government was botched when he learned that the ministers in question will refuse to leave their cabinet seats.
Even the new "major alliance" is plagued by incompetence. The situation is damn close to hopeless.