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Iraq: Al-Iraqiya List Threatens to Withdraw from Political Process | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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London, Asharq Al-Awsat- Maysun al-Damaluji, the official spokeswoman of Al-Iraqiya List led by former Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi, has threatened their coalition’s withdrawal from “the entire political process, including withdrawal from the next Iraqi parliament, if some parliamentary blocs insist on concluding an alliance between them in an attempt to exclude or marginalize it.”

Al-Damaluji told Asharq Al-Awsat by telephone from Baghdad yesterday: “We consider the alliance between Iraqi Nation Alliance [INA] (led by Ammar al-Hakim’s Iraqi Islamic Supreme Council [IISC]) and the State of Law Coalition [SLC] (led by Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki) a sectarian alignment since they represent a single sectarian component. This is the only factor that brings them together which means the marginalization or exclusion of the other principal components in Iraqi society.” She pointed out that “Al-Iraqiya List does not give legitimacy to such an alignment and will not take part in any government this alliance forms and which takes Iraq back to the pre-2005 atmospheres, something we reject totally.” She referred to “the statement of Al-Sadr Trend Leader Muqtada al-Sadr yesterday (the day before yesterday) that he would oppose any sectarian alliance and his description of the INA and SLC alliance as sectarian that would marginalize the others.”

Regarding the statements by incumbent Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki or some of his (Al-Dawa) party members or in other entities calling for the inclusion of Al-Iraqiya List in the formation of the government, Al-Iraqiya’s official spokeswoman said: “Our List and its candidate Dr. Iyad Allawi should be asked constitutionally and officially to form the government as this is our legitimate right and not at anyone’s call for us to participate in forming it.” She pointed out that “the constitution gives us as a winning list in the elections the right to form the government at the request of the president of the republic. We will then talk with the other blocs and alliances to participate in this government. If we are unable to form it in one month, then we will see what we have to say. We are open to all and have no red lines concerning any person, bloc, or alliance. We have strong relations with Al-Sadr Trend, the IISC, the Kurdish Alliance, and Al-Fadilah Party. There are members in our List who have talked to SLC members.”

Al-Damaluji went on to say: “Our List is further way from sectarianism since it includes all the Iraqi people’s religious, doctrinal, and ethnic components and we therefore refuse to work with any sectarian party that takes Iraq backward. We will not abandon the trust of the Iraqis who gave us their votes. Even those who did not vote for us are still our people’s sons for whom we are working.” She stressed that “Al-Iraqiya List does not give legitimacy to the next government and the political process if it is established on sectarian bases that perpetuate the difficult conditions in which Iraq is living and the loathsome quotas. All the options are open to us and within the constitution.”

She called her List’s options “open”, which is, “either we form a parliamentary opposition and it would be an honor for us to oppose the sectarian alignment and to concentrate our action on serving our people — the Iraqis tested us when we had 25 seats in the previous parliament and we acted from the opposition benches and this increased our people’s trust in us and they elected us and we won 91 seats — or we withdraw from the entire political process, including the next parliament.” She underlined the “List’s cohesiveness and the belief in its program and decisions. Its leading members meet almost daily to discuss the current situations in Iraq. There are coordination, media, and political committees that meet constantly.” She described “as desperate and impossible the attempts by some blocs or persons to fragment the List by offering inducements and promises of certain posts and interests but they have failed dismally and have not affected the List’s unity.”