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.

 

Obama offers Tunisia closer security ties

Iraq's Sunni tribes feel distrust towards Baghdad after Ramadi fall

US to sell bombs, missiles to Israel, helicopters to Saudis

Qatar ‘failing to deliver’ on promised labour reforms

Gazan software firm growing despite Israel blockade

Yemen air strikes continue as Iran calls for talks

Israeli court orders release of Khalida Jarrar

Netanyahu meets with Arab leader Ayman Odeh

U.S. sanctions two companies linked to Iran's plane purchases

Iran supports Yemen talks, denounces foreign interference

IS militants call for attacks on Egypt's judges

11 killed in fresh Libya violence

Assad regime losses in Syria

Obama looks to bolster Tunisia's democratic gains

Turkey opposition unveils plan to build new 'mega-city' in Anatolia

Iraqi prime minister seeks Russian support against Islamic State

Morocco illegal migrant arrest fuels Italy row

IS jihadists in full control of Syria's Palmyra

Yemen government wants rebel pullback before joining Geneva talks

Morocco King names four new ministers in second reshuffle

Gaza reconstruction going ‘far more slowly than expected’

France kills two jihadist chiefs in Sahel region

Clashes with ‘Islamic State’ rage on near Libya city of Sirte

Protests in Tunisia phosphate-producing region intensify

Iran aid ship to dock in Djibouti for inspection

Israel to face FIFA suspension bid

Letters of Bin Laden reveal accurate fear of surveillance

Yemen talks to open May 28 in Geneva

‘Islamic State’ fighters take control of Palmyra northern sector

Palestinian driver shot by Israeli police

New Egypt justice minister sworn in after judge's gaffe

IS, Syria regime locked in fierce battles near Palmyra

Rajoub: Conditions not ready for Israel-Palestine "match for peace"

Air raids on Yemen capital mount

Opposition leader accuses Turkish government of arming rebels in Syria

Qatar World Cup "on schedule" amid unabated controversies

Iran supreme leader rules out nuclear inspections of military sites

Israel PM suspends ban on Palestinians using settler buses

Tunisia museum attack suspect arrested in Italy

Rebels seize largest regime base in Syria's Idlib

Obama poised to quicken pace of arms supplies to Iraq

Israel sentences Palestinian to 8 months in prison over ‘incitement’

Iran ‘can no longer sustain’ Ahmadinejad cash handouts

About 7,000 Somalia refugees return home from Yemen

Saudi advertises for swordsmen as execution rate soars