Friday, August 03, 2007


Concern grows among Iraqi politicians following IAF withdrawal

(Voices of Iraq) - Iraqi politicians demonstrated their concerns about the implications of the Sunni Iraqi Accordance Front's (IAF) withdrawal from the government for the future of the Iraqi political process. Stressing the Iraqi political process's need for reform, MP Maisoon al-Damlouji from the Iraqi National Slate told the independent news agency Voices of Iraq (VOI), "The political process, which is based on a sectarian quota system, is about to fall. We have to handle the situation before reaching the point of no return."
Urging Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to listen to the IAF's demands, al-Damlouji said that constructive dialogue at the current time is necessary for discussing all unresolved issues. "The IAF, the National Slate, the Sadrist movement, al-Fadila Party and the National Dialogue Front (NDF) are equally dissatisfied with the current situation… The Iraqi prime minister must listen to what we are saying before it is too late," al-Damlouji indicated.
The mostly secular Iraqi National Slate, led by former Prime Minister Iyad Allawi, holds 24 seats in the Iraqi parliament. Khalaf al-Alian, a leading IAF member, described the current Iraqi political process as a "failure" and indicated that the departure of his front, along with the Sadrist movement, from the government is a clear sign that al-Maliki's government is becoming increasingly unpopular in the Iraqi street. According to al-Alian, al-Maliki has two choices: to form a government of independent technocrats or to step down in favor of a more qualified person.
Meanwhile, MP Ali al-Alaq from the Shiite Unified Iraqi Coalition (UIC), the largest parliamentary bloc with 111 seats, told VOI that the IAF's decision does not necessarily indicate retrogression in the political process, which he is said is "working fine."
Displaying pessimism about the future of the Iraqi political process, Hadi Aliwa, a political analyst, held the Iraqi government and parliamentary blocs responsible for the "failure" to reach political consensus. "Each bloc is working on its own. Several regional and international factors, the most important of which is the U.S. occupation, are affecting the political process," Aliwa explained.

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