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.

 

New government in Yemen plus cut in fuel prices

11 Egypt policemen killed in Sinai bomb blast

US army back in Somalia

Paris, Riyadh 'finalising' $3bn Lebanon arms deal

Sudan orders Iran to close cultural centres

Syria arrests pro-regime activists over criticism

Libya pro-Islamist figure presents rival cabinet lineup

Israel faces mounting criticism over Palestinian land grab

Saudi Arabia arrests 88 suspected extremists in 'anti-terror' drive

New UN chief for South Sudan faces ‘huge challenge’

US air strikes target senior Shebab officials in Somalia

‘Scourge of terrorism’ pushes Africa to intensify cooperation

Relatives of missing Iraq soldiers storm parliament in Baghdad

IS accused of 'systematic ethnic cleansing' in Iraq

UK announces tougher measures against Britons planning jihad

Algeria hosts new round of Mali peace talks

US launches new round of air strikes around Iraq dam

Turkey summons US charge d'affaires over Snowden claims

Turkey new PM promises peace with Kurds

Will UN Human Rights Council investigate IS abuses?

Iran convicts Ahmadinejad's vice president for embezzlement

Fierce clashes shatter uneasy calm near armistice line in Golan Heights

Turkey detains dozens of police in new nationwide raids

Libya loses control of Tripoli to Islamist-led militias

Thousands of Huthis defy UN in new show of strength

Iraq presses fightback against jihadist-led militants

Wounded Gazans need long-term care

Britain to go tougher on jihadist suspects

Libyan Islamist militiamen control US embassy compound

Israel shoots down drone over occupied Golan Heights

Yemen army suffers heavy losses in new wave of Qaeda attacks

Turkish army breaks silence on Kurdish peace talks

Islamic State offers grim inspiration to African extremists

Shebab target intelligence HQ in Somalia

Israel expropriates 988 acres of Palestinian land in West Bank

Iraq recaptures Amerli from Islamic State in biggest success so far

Saudi King calls for ‘strong and rapid action’ against jihadists

Jihadists distribute Yazidi women as spoils of war to fighters

Gulf countries resolve six-month dispute with Qatar

Egypt reduces Badie death sentence to life in prison

AU forces liberate former Shebab stronghold in Somalia

Philippines enters war in Syria!

Kurds put aside old rivalries to battle jihadists in Iraq

Iran says new sanctions cast doubt on US sincerity

US imposes new sanctions on Iran