Broad Welcome for Sunni Return to Iraqi Politics

The budget needs the approval of Shia, Sunni and Kurdish representatives.

Hamid al-Mutlaq, a senior member of Iraqiya, told IWPR that its political partners had now shown “good will” to cooperate. He said Iraqiya had received calls from various Iraqi parties asking it to come back to the political process, although the prime minister’s State of Law bloc was not among those he named.

Iraqiya, which holds 91 seats in Iraq’s 325-seat council of representatives, hopes to be rewarded for its decision to resume participation in government.

“We are showing good will, and we expect a similar gesture from the government in return,” Mutlaq said, adding in an apparent hint that the boycott tactic still remained an option, “If we feel that this gesture has not been taken the proper way, we will not keep to it.”

An Iraqiya source told IWPR on condition of anonymity that the list expected Maliki to drop the request he made for the dismissal of Deputy Prime Minister Hashem al-Mutlaq, who had called him a “dictator” in a media interview.

Other political actors also welcomed Iraqiya’s return, expressing hopes that this step would lead to more stability.

The Sadrists, a key Shia bloc which supports Maliki, issued a statement in which they hailed Iraqiya’s return as “a necessary step” to maintain the processes of legislation and government.

Politicians from the Kurdish region, where Hashemi has taken refuge, also praised Iraqiya’s move.

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