BAGHDAD — Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki of Iraq appeared almost assured of a second term in office on Friday after winning the support of an anti-American Shiite Islamic movement whose return to political power could reshape relations with the United States.and
Mr. Maliki’s renomination to the post he has held since 2006, announced in a garden beneath a mosque’s minaret, was a breakthrough after nearly seven months of bare-knuckle, back-room bargaining that have followed the country’s election in March.
Mr. Maliki owes his nomination to the extraordinary political resurrection of the followers of Moktada al-Sadr, the self-exiled cleric whose fighters once battled in the streets of Baghdad and other cities with Iraqi and American troops. The Sadrists, as they are known, proved effective and disciplined campaigners, winning 40 seats in the March elections.If so, I think this would cause one to be more optimistic about the al-Shahristani plan. Maliki has been reasonably effective at stabilizing the country, and the oil development plan came about under his watch. So the odds of a later, higher, oil peak just went up a notch.
Not to say there aren't still plenty of risks to the plan. But the "no legitimate government" risk sounds like it's significantly reduced.