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Wednesday, November 29, 2006
By Steven L. Taylor

Via WaPo: Powerful Shiite Bloc Boycotts Iraqi Government

A bloc of Iraqi lawmakers and cabinet ministers allied with militia leader Moqtada al-Sadr launched a boycott of their government duties Wednesday to protest Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s decision to attend a summit in Jordan with President Bush.

“We announce the suspension of our participation in government and parliament,” said Nasar al-Rubaie, the leader of Sadr’s parliamentary bloc. “We gave a promise last Friday that we will suspend our participation if the Prime Minister met with Bush and today [Wednesday] we are doing it as a Sadrist bloc.”

I suppose it begs the question of whether there was any actual governing going on anyway, this raising the question of whether there is much in the way of practical manifestations of this move. Certainly the parliament seems to have been inert of late. It is more difficult to know the degree to which the ministries are actually functional.

It is noteworthy that the Sadr bloc has not actually withdrawn from the government:

But Rubaie cautioned that their action did not mean the officials were pulling out of the government, which would all but guarantee the collapse of Iraq’s unity government.

“The suspension does not mean our withdrawal from the political process,” said Rubaie. He added the Sadr bloc would meet in coming days to discuss how long members would remain out of the government.

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One Response to “Sadr Bloc Boycotts Iraqi Government”

  1. Alabama Moderate Says:

    What gets me is that this is probably the first time that al-Sadr has even recognized that Maliki is “leading” the Iraqi governmnet. Until now, he’s pretty much considered Maliki a Bush puppet.


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