Iraq MP Announces ‘Opposition Front’ to Form in Parliament

Praises Protesters as Reflecting 'Genuine National Spirit'

With growing public protests across the nation, MP Qusay al-Abbady of Iraq’s Iraqiya bloc has announced that a number of the MPs in his bloc as well as other blocs are working to form an “opposition front” in the parliament.

Though there are of course opposition members in Iraq’s parliament, this would be the first attempt since the parliament seated to organize the opposition into a unified bloc against Maliki’s “unity” government. Ironically, Iraqiya is nominally a member of the unity government and not the opposition, though its MPs clearly feel they are on the outside looking in.

Iraqiya in particular has been a difficult partner in the unity government, as they actually won the parliamentary election before being relegated by negotiation to the status of a minor partner, and the bloc has repeatedly threatened to withdraw over its lack of influence, and over its annoyance at Prime Minister Maliki appointing himself as “interim” defense, interior and national security minister.

Abbady also praised the public protesters, saying that they reflect the “genuine national spirit” of Iraq and that he was glad they had raised their voices to demand government accountability. So far the protesters have drawn considerable international attention, but have mostly been met with bullets by the government.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.