Thursday, September 20, 2007


INL members go independent

(Voices of Iraq) - Iraqi National List's (INL) members of parliament Safiyah al-Sehil and Hachem al-Hassani announced their withdrawal from the secular list, which is led by former Prime Minister Iyad Allawi, saying they will sit as independents in the Iraqi parliament. "We announce our defection from the INL and we will sit as independents in the parliament," the two parliamentarians said in a joint news conference before the session of the parliament.
When asked about the reasons behind his decision, al-Hassani told the independent news agency Voices of Iraq (VOI) that divisions within the secular list over the decision-making process resulted in a complete lack of harmony between some of its members.
Al-Hassani was the former speaker of Iraq's Transitional National Assembly, the first Iraqi parliament formed after the 2005 elections. He was also a leading member in the Iraqi Islamic Party and was appointed as the minister of industry in Allawi's interim government. During the second legislative elections in 2005, al-Hassani joined the secular alliance led by Allawi, which includes many political parties of different ethnic affiliation.
Meanwhile, al-Sehil said that the list's deviation from the moderate and liberal line and its adoption of a "national Baathist line" led some of its senior members to consider reform. "We have tried to bring in reforms and rectify the path of the INL, but we unfortunately failed," al-Sehil said. After the defections of the two parliamentarians the INL now has 22 seats in the 275-member parliament.

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