Kurds asked to join Iraqi parliamentary coalition

Kurds asked to join Iraqi parliamentary coalition
2 min read
03 March, 2015
The leader of Iraq's National Coalition is encouraging Kurdish groups to join the National Front, a new anti-sectarian parliamentary coalition.
Iyad Allawi's secular National Coalition is joining with the Sadrist Ahrar bloc [AFP]
Iyad Allawi, the vice-president of Iraq and the leader of the Iraqi National Coalition, is trying to persuade Kurdish groups to join the new anti-sectarian "National Front" bloc within Iraq's parliament.

Allawi's secular, liberal National Coalition is joining with the Ahrar bloc - a Shia-Islamist coalition supported by the leader of the Sadrist movement, Muqtada Sadr, to form the National Front.

The new bloc is part of a project to create a trans-sectarian and trans-ethnic political alliance that shuns sectarianism in parliament and in wider political processes.

"Allawi met a number of Kurdish political leaders in Baghdad, and they agreed to establish the National Front," said Maysoon al-Damluji, an MP and National Coalition spokesperson.

     The new alliance is part of a project to create a trans-sectarian and trans-ethnic political alliance that shuns sectarianism.

Damlouji said Allawi held talks with Kurdish forces after the State of Law coalition led by Iraq's former president, Nouri al-Maliki, rejected the formation of the National Front.

She said the State of Law coalition was concerned it would undermine the unity of the Shia Islamist National Alliance, which is considered to be the largest parliamentary bloc.

Jamila Obeidi, an MP with the National Coalition, said the agreement required Sadr's Ahrar party to withdraw from the National Alliance to avoid any conflicts of interest.

"The new coalition's slogan is 'to preserve the unity of Iraq', to create a state built around civil institutions, and to ensure the state's monopoly over arms," she said.

However, the Ahrar coalition denied it would withdraw from the National Alliance.

Jumaa Diwan, an Ahrar member, said the bloc was a key component of the National Alliance - and had no intention of withdrawing.

"Al-Ahrar and the National Coalition have agreed to create a front so that all parts of the Iraqi parliament make decisions that serve the Iraqi people without partisanship and sectarianism," said Diwan.

The secular Iraqi-Kurdish Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, led by former President Jalal Talabani, said it supported the new alliance - or any other alliance that would guarantee the country's political stability and improve security.


This article is an edited translation from our Arabic edition.