Wednesday, September 12, 2007


Iraqi Accordance Front MP returns after boycott

(Voices of Iraq) - Iraqi Minister of Planning and Development Cooperation Ali Baban decided to return to the government and end his boycott, a source from the Iraqi cabinet said on Tuesday. "Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki hailed Baban's decision and appreciated his "courageous step" to return to undertake his job for the good of the Iraqi people," the source, whole asked not to be named, told the independent news agency Voices of Iraq (VOI).
The source did not give further details on the minister's surprising decision. Baban is a member of the Sunni Arab-majority Iraqi Islamic Party, headed by Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi. The party is one of the main Sunni components of the Iraqi Accordance Front (IAF). The IAF, the third largest bloc in Iraqi parliament with 44 out of a total 275 seats, had announced last month that its five ministers and deputy premier, Sallam al-Zawbaie, have quit the government of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki because "the government slammed the door shut to any reforms that would help rescue Iraq."
The IAF is composed of three main Sunni political organizations: the Iraqi Islamic Party, the Congress of the People of Iraq and the National Dialogue Council. Baban himself had threatened to withdraw from the government before his bloc's decision last month if the oil and gas law approved without making "fundamental amendments". He asserted that the law has "negative effects" on Iraqi oil wealth, calling for holding a referendum on that law.

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