State of Law Coalition (SLC) (also known as the State of Law Alliance, or Itilaf dawlat el-qanun) was formed following the 2009 provincial elections as a result of internal conflict between Nouri al-Maliki and Muqtada al-Sadr over the number of seats each desired in future parliament assemblies. A disagreement between Maliki and Muqtada al-Sadr over the number of seats each desired in future parliament assemblies resulted in the departure of the former from the United Iraqi Alliance with which both groups were affiliated, and the formation of the State of Law alliance of which Maliki’s Dawa party is currently the primary component.
While Maliki had formerly highlighted the religious and Shi’ite nature of Dawa in previous elections, he recast himself in the 2010 elections in order to win broader support, stressing instead a non-secular nationalist platform. Since the beginning of 2011, Maliki has highlighted his intention to appoint ministerial posts to different sects, and has spoken out about the importance of a unified Iraq. Despite this, initiatives for referendums on the potential establishment of federal regions have been proposed by lawmakers within the alliance. These moves have been subsequently blocked by Maliki, who would lose his current position of leadership were Iraq to break up into semi-autonomous regions. Furthermore, Maliki’s attempts at cross-sectarianism have fallen short of the expectations of some, as key positions such as defense appointments remain outside the hands of opposition parties such as Iraqiyya.