Political Crisis Flares in Iraq

Sunnis walk out of parliament, demand more power
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 17, 2011 5:09 PM CST
Ahmed Abdul-Ghafoor al-Samarraie, the head of the Sunni Endowment, left, speaks to Iraqi's Prime Minister Nouri al- Maliki in Baghdad, Iraq, Thursday, Aug. 18, 2011.   (AP Photo/Karim Kadim)
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(Newser) – Iraq's political structure already seems to be unraveling. Before the last US troops have left, Sunni politicians are walking out of parliament and threatening to quit altogether, the Washington Post reports. Ministers in the Sunni Iraqiya bloc are demanding more political power and greater control of Iraq's Shiite-dominated militia—especially after tanks recently surrounded the homes of Sunni politicians in the fortified Green Zone.

Sunnis accuse Maliki of taking over the nation's militia; Maliki loyalists say Sunnis are trying to prevent the arrest of Sunni Vice President Tariq al-Hashimi, who has been linked to terrorism. Trouble is also brewing in one province where Sunni leaders tried to seek regional autonomy, only to see Shiite troops set fire to the governor's home. “We think there are new indications of a new attempt to create a dictatorship,” says a Sunni politician. “We are really worried that the country is being led into chaos and division and the possibility of civil war is there.” (Read more Sunnis stories.)

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