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Maliki’s government on verge of collapse

Kareem Zair, Azzaman

July 1, 2007

The government of Nouri al-Maliki is not only losing its control of the country but also its role as a representative administration.

The Tawafuq, a coalition of Sunni parties, has withdrawn its six ministers from Maliki’s government and has suspended participation in parliamentary debate.

The coalition holds 44 seats in the 275-member parliament. In parliamentary terms Maliki still musters a majority through his Kurdish allies but the withdrawal of the Sunnis is a blow to efforts for reconciliation.

Six more ministers representing the block led by Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr have already left the government. With the absence of Sadrists and Sunnis it is unclear how Maliki will put the disparate pieces of his government together.

Maliki has been trying to lure the Sunni coalition back to the government but so far all his efforts have been in vain.

Arab Sunnis make up the core of anti-U.S. resistance in Iraq. In their areas, particularly in central swathes of the country, the Iraqi branch of al-Qaeda finds the haven necessary to regroup, redeploy and mount its devastating attacks.

Resistance groups, including al-Qaeda, were unhappy with the presence of Sunni political factions in the government. The Qaeda has repeatedly attacked senior Sunni politicians and their parties for agreeing to become part of the political process.

The withdrawal of the Sunnis is perhaps one of the harshest blows to Maliki and his U.S. supporters since the start of the U.S.-led military 'surge’ aimed at pacifying Baghdad and surrounding areas.

The government now almost wholly consists of one particular 'hue’ if one excludes the Kurds who rule their own affairs in their semi-independent enclave in northern Iraq.

Maliki has on his side two major Shiite factions – his own Dawa Party and the Supreme Islamic Council of Iraq. His government in the eyes of Arab Sunnis will now be viewed as one of purely sectarian inclinations since it no longer includes any of the Sunni factions.

A senior Iraqi politician in Baghdad, refusing to be named, said Maliki, fearing the collapse of his government, is trying hard to lure independent personalities and factions to join.

"They (these personalities) have turned down all the offers made for them because they are certain that (Maliki’s) government is no its way to fall," said the politician.

:: Article nr. 34140 sent on 01-jul-2007 18:48 ECT


Link: www.azzaman.com/english/index.asp?fname=news%5C2007-07-01%5Ckurd.htm

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