Growing Sunni Ire Over Election Bans a Top Priority
Vice President Joe Biden is expected to arrive in Iraq soon, perhaps within the next few days, in an attempt by the US to smooth out rising sectarian tensions between the ruling Shi’ites and the Sunni Arab minority.
Sunnis have been increasingly riled by a ban, stemming from claims by an election oversight body run by Ahmed Chalabi, which has prevented over 500 candidates from running in the March election. The details of the list have not been made public, but it reportedly includes several members from one of the key Sunni political blocs, including a top opposition MP.
The bannings effectively destroy the third largest political alliance in Iraq just months ahead of the election, and are seen by many as an attempt by the Maliki government to cement its hold on power.
Another issue Biden is expected to address is a pledge by the Najaf Provincial government, a Shi’ite dominated region centered around the Shi’ite holy city of Najaf, to purge the region of “Ba’athist ideas,” seen by the province’s Sunni minority as a euphemism for a sectarian purge.
Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz
- Saudis to Behead Over 50, Including Top Shi'ite Cleric, as 'Terrorists' - November 26th, 2015
- Russia Threatens Economic Retaliation Over Turkey Attack - November 26th, 2015
- Cameron Challenged on Claim of 70,000 Moderate Syrian Fighters - November 26th, 2015
- Russia Says 'Wiped Out' Terror Groups Near Downed Plane - November 26th, 2015
- Powers Open to 'Grand Coalition' Against ISIS - November 26th, 2015