Iraq's secular bloc refuses to join government headed by Maliki

19:31, September 25, 2010      

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The secular bloc of Iraqia, headed by former prime minister Ayad Allawi, said Saturday it would not join any government headed by incumbent Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, and pledged to continue talks with the Shiite religious bloc of Iraqi National Alliance (INA).

"The Iraqia (bloc) considers the current model to run the state headed by Maliki is not suitable to be repeated, therefore, Iraqia will not take part in any coming government headed by Maliki," the cross-sectarian bloc said in a statement on Saturday.

Allawi's Iraqia bloc which owns 91 parliamentary seats said it would not recognize the Shiite National Alliance which comprises of the INA and Maliki's State of Law coalitions.

Earlier, the INA which won 70 parliamentary seats in March elections, formed a broader Shiite alliance, the National Alliance, with Maliki's State of Law which owns 89 parliamentary seats. The broader Shiite coalition with 159 seats makes it the biggest in the 325-seat parliament.

The narrow winning in the parliamentary polls produced no clear winner, sparking bitter row about who should have the right to form the next government as Allawi rejected the federal court's interpretation to the constitutional expressions of "largest bloc. " The court said it means the largest number of seats for either the bloc that wins the elections or the coalition of blocs that could be formed before the first session of the new parliament.

Iraqia also said that it will continue negotiations with all the political blocs, particularly, with the INA to form a national partnership government which will be established on the basis of the results of the national polls on March 7.

However, in response to Iraqia's statement, Maliki's media office said "the talks with Iraqia bloc will continue and what they said (in Iraqia statement) is only representing the opinion of the extremist members in their bloc."

Maliki who is fighting for another term as prime minister is facing a rejection from rival Shiite parties, including the INA which consists of Sadr followers and the Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council headed by Ammar al-Hakim.

In addition, the Shiite National Alliance has proved that it is far from being unified over who will be the head of the broad Shiite coalition and the candidate for prime minister, as the INA has vehemently opposed giving Maliki a second term and previously nominated its leading figure Adel Abdul Mehdi as its candidate to compete with Maliki.

Source: Xinhua


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