Baghdad Mayor Ala' al-Tamimi has confirmed the news reported in the media on what he called "the occupation of Baghdad mayoral headquarters by Baghdad Governor Husayn al-Tahhan, [Baghdad] Governorate Council Chairman Mazin Makkiya, and a number of armed men." They attacked and beat a number of administrative employees at Baghdad Municipality, al-Tamimi says.
Al-Tamimi: Baghdad Governor Husayn al-Tahhan entered the municipality, accompanied by [Baghdad] Governorate Council President Mazin Makkiya and some 120 armed men. He summoned an assembly in my office where he announced that he was now assuming the post of acting mayor and that he is now expecting to receive orders. He was asked who had entitled him with this action as mayor is subordinate to the Council of Ministers. He replied [to the person who asked], "I am not receiving orders from you." Then he started, supported by the armed men, to arrest some administrative employees and beat some of them.
GOI: This is amazing!! This is like the Mayor of Washington D.C. or New York City being overthrown by the Governor of New York, Virginia or Maryland and this BARELY made Reuters and Radio Free Europe!!! This is not a good sign for the development of a stable Iraqi government.
The ousted Mayor Ala' al-Tamimi resigned soon after this incident.
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UPDATE: This comes to us from the Left Coaster:
First off, a correction. I had posted earlier in the week that the mayor of Baghdad was tossed out at gunpoint by the SCIRI and their armed forces, while the central Iraqi government and our military did nothing. Commenter Jay Boilswater pointed me to Juan Cole’s analysis wherein Cole stated the SCIRI’s action was justified given that they had won the right in the much-lauded January elections to do what they wanted in the area. Jay is correct; Juan Cole is reporting that SCIRI does in fact have this right, no matter how bad it looks, and that Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim Jaafari is now supporting the toppling of the mayor by SCIRI. Props to Jay.
GOI: Well, it does look bad and shows the fragility of the current Iraqi government.
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