Baghdad, Asharq Al-Awsat- Maysoon al-Damluji, spokeswoman for the al-Iraqiya List led by Iyad Allawi, has emphasized that “a political truce alone is not enough to solve the crisis, especially as we have seen many attempts at a truce in the past that were soon violated by one side or the other”.
Al-Damluji told Asharq al-Awsat that “the countdown for the Iraqi national conference, the holding of which has been agreed upon, will begin after President Jalal Talabani returns in the next few days to Baghdad”, which means that the location for the conference has been decided, and it will be the Iraqi capital.
With regards to what exactly has been agreed upon, al-Damluji said “the most important thing that has been agreed upon is that we put a road map in place for resolving the current political crisis in the country, with all its aspects”. She added that “At the level of the political crisis, the most prominent results were the agreements not to politicize the judiciary and to release innocent detainees who have yet to be sentenced. This is in addition to other national partnership issues that were discussed, including the security ministry and other issues which were subject to the Erbil Agreements in the past”.
Regarding the decision taken by the al-Iraqiya List to exclude 6 of its members because of their involvement in parliamentary sessions, thus violating the List’s decision to boycott all government and parliamentary meetings, al-Damluji said “al-Iraqiya was correct to issue this decision, during the meeting of some of its leadership in Baghdad. However, although we consider the decision to be correct in principle, we are now working to heal the crisis and restore the excluded members back into the al-Iraqiya List again”. When asked whether the decision was therefore not final, al-Damluji said “we are working hard in this regard and we expect matters to return to normal, especially as all members of the al-Iraqiya List confirm their commitment to its national project”.
The al-Iraqiya List had previously announced – in a statement received by Asharq al-Awsat – the dismissal of six of its members because of what it described as “their deviations from the al-Iraqiya List’s project, and their weak and irresponsible stances, which have impeded the national project”. The statement said that “the al-Iraqiya List has always, since the first day of its formation, been [committed] to achieving the national project that puts the citizen first. When it resorts to a position such as this, it is doing so out of the belief in achieving national interests, without regarding personal moods or whims. This is out of commitment to those that have assigned al-Iraqiya to undertake political action on their behalf, and have given it their trust, in spite of the suffering and difficult circumstances experienced by al-Iraqiya’s supporters”.
The statement added “from this perspective, the al-Iraqiya List participated in the government and outlined its goal in accordance with a mechanism unanimously agreed upon by all its members [to boycott government and parliamentary meetings]. In doing so, al-Iraqiya consulted everyone’s opinion, and respected its members’ opinions and rights”. The statement goes on to say that “the al-Iraqiya List met recently to discuss the stances of some of its members, who have deviated from its project and the aspirations and issues of its supporters. For quite some time they have behaved out of personal and utilitarian interests, away from al-Iraqiya’s consensus that remains faithful to the national project, representing the aspirations of our patient people all over Iraq. This behavior was not at the required standard for a representative acting in the Iraqi parliament to defend the issues of our people. Their performance has become a hindrance to the progress of al-Iraqiya’s national project”. Al-Iraqiya also said in its statement that “for these reasons, the al-Iraqiya List has decided to distance itself from these members, believing that this will increase the List’s strength and distance it from weak and irresponsible positions”.
According to the statement, the six dismissed members are “Mohammed Nasser al-Karbouli, Kamal al-Dulaimi, Qais al-Shathr, Ahmed Abdullah al-Jubouri, Abdul Rahman Alloizi and Jamaa al-Mutaioti”. The statement concludes by saying “The al-Iraqiya List pledges to the good Iraqi people that it will continue to adhere to the unity and independence of Iraq, defend the Iraqis and prevent external interference in their affairs, and work to achieve their aspirations in building a safe and stable civil state where every citizen can enjoy freedom, justice, dignity and prosperity”.
The al-Iraqiya List has recently witnessed numerous defections, the latest being the withdrawal of MP Iskander Witwit, along with four members from Babil province, earlier this month. Likewise, dozens of members of the Iraqi National Accord (INA) movement – led by Iyad Allawi – in the province of Basra announced their withdrawal and their intention to join another political movement currently under formation. This is in addition to further dissidents from the INA and al-Iraqiya List from other provinces, with one leader earlier stressing that marginalization, exclusion and the List’s sectarian orientation being reasons behind the withdrawals.