First Published: 2007-03-01

 
Allawi’s party threatens to quit Iraqi government
 

Ex-PM’s Iraqi National List accuses Maliki’s government of sectarian bias, narrow-mindedness.

 

Middle East Online

The List has five ministers and 25 members of parliament

BAGHDAD - The secular party led by former Iraqi interim prime minister Iyad Allawi threatened Thursday to quit the country's embattled government of national unity, accusing officials of sectarian bias.

Allawi's Iraqi National List is the only major political party in Iraq to include high ranking members from both the Sunni and Shiite community. It has five ministers and 25 members of parliament.

If Allawi's supporters were to quit Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's coalition, it would strike a blow to attempts to portray the government as a moderate, non-sectarian force in an Iraq increasingly divided by violence and extremism.

The List says Maliki's Shiite-led government has failed to honour promises to allow more Sunnis into public service and of persecuting its enemies under the guise of fighting corruption and terrorism.

"We strongly fear that the government's announced security plan will suffer setbacks because of disagreements and clashes between senior officials," the List said, in a statement sent to reporters.

"In this context, the Iraqi List feels it will soon no longer be able to accept the responsibility of being in this government, because of its sectarian domination and narrow-mindedness," it warned.

"We wouldn't have joined government in the first place but for pressure on us to serve the national interest, but in the last few months the government has done the opposite, and committed despicable acts against many citizens."

The coalition that was formed in June last year, after Iraq's first election since the fall of Saddam Hussein, is a fractious collection of often feuding parties, many of them with links to militias engaged in sectarian violence.

Allawi was appointed as Iraq's interim premier in June 2004 when the US occupying authorities returned Iraq's sovereignty, but his secular party lost out to Shiite Islamists in the later elections.

The party did not set a deadline for its withdrawal, but party spokesman Ibrahim al-Janabi said that the day would soon be at hand.

"This is a final ultimatum to withdraw from the government. The decision has not been taken yet but it will be in the short run rather than the long run.

"We put forward a programme to build a national unity government without sectarian and party divides. Now we see that things are taking a completely different shape," he said.

 

Iraqi forces seize Kirkuk governor's office

New UN envoy in Rabat to restart talks on WSahara

Last days of Raqa battles ‘toughest fighting yet’

Mogadishu twin bomb death toll at 276

Lebanon promotes ‘back to public school’ drive

Divided Iraq tests limited US influence

Iraqi forces seize airport, oil field from Kurds

Saudi Arabia sets conditions to role in Syria reconstruction

In tougher approach, US offers multimillion-dollar reward for Hezbollah operatives

EU ministers join forces in support of Iran deal

Batteries, tape to thank for defeating jihadists in Raqa

Palestinian Authority top official visits Gaza

Israel strikes Syrian anti-aircraft battery in response to shots

Qatar starts to feel pinch from sanctions

Omani role has helped Iran but may not do much in crisis with US

Head of IS in Southeast Asia dead

Gazans hope Palestinian reconciliation ends their woes

US-backed forces announce ‘final phase’ of Raqa recapture

Suspicion of football corruption shows limits of Qatar’s ‘soft power’

Schools closed on first day of term in rebel-held Yemen

Iraqi forces in standoff with Kurds in oil-rich Kirkuk

Protests in southern Morocco over water shortages

Iran’s Zarif says Trump speech in violation of nuclear deal

In Egypt, illiteracy rates down but problem remains

ISIS regroups in Libya amid jihadist infighting

Egypt’s Nation’s Future Party seeks to build on youth vote

Qatar freezes assets of royal member over Gulf crisis

Morocco dismantles IS-linked terror cell

Syrian troops recapture city of Mayadeen from IS

Gulf countries voice support for Trump’s tough stance on Iran

Princess named to head Saudi sports federation

IS fighters surrender as defeat in Raqa nears

Former French culture minister picked to head UNESCO

Baghdad issues ultimatum to Kurds on Kirkuk

Trump tears into Iran, leaves nuclear deal hanging

Iranians respond with anger, mockery to Trump speech

Somalia's defense minister, army chief resign

EU says it must watch IS in North Africa 'very carefully'

NATO chief urges US, Turkey to 'find solutions' to row

Turkey deploys troops to Syria's rebel-held Idlib

Four jihadists killed in Mali

Hamas dilemma in Palestinian reconciliation

Baghdad launches Kirkuk operation amid bitter row with Kurds

Talks on Raqa civilian exit halted

Qatar, Egypt set for UNESCO standoff