“In recent years, Maliki hijacked the authority of the state, concentrated decision-making in the Prime Minister’s office, and set up military and intelligence units answering directly to him,” said an Iraqi source. “Methods of preventing this happening again have been widely discussed among other Iraqi leaders.”…

Iyad al-Allawi, the former prime minister backed by Sunni Arab countries and Turkey, is the main loser from the new agreement. He will head a newly created council for strategic policy, to which other Iraqi leaders will belong. It will be able to veto government policies if 80 per cent of council members vote to do so. Given the fractiousness of Iraqi politics, such a consensus will be difficult to achieve and the council may turn out to have little real power.

The allocation of ministerial posts will be agreed over the next month with Sunni politicians hoping to secure the job of Foreign Secretary that has long been held by Hoshyar Zebari, a senior Kurdish leader. And in a further effort to satisfy different parties and communities, the number of deputy prime ministers may be increased.