Thursday, March 08, 2007

Allawi forms new political bloc in threat to Maliki, promises cleanup of Interior Ministry, 2 years of martial law

Ayad Allawi after addressing a joint session of the U.S. Congress. Allawi was the interim Prime Minister of Iraq prior to the 2005 legislative elections. Though labelled a moderate, he was never known for an enthusaism for Democratic instituions. In 2004, two Australian newspapers published an article alleging that one week before the handover of sovereignty, Allawi himself summarily executed six suspected insurgents at a Baghdad police station. Allawi maintains a home in Kingston-upon-Thames in London, which he regularly 'visits'.

BAGHDAD — A new coalition in Iraq's parliament seeks to challenge Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and force him to purge Shiite militias from police and government. The alliance is led by Ayad Allawi, a secular Shiite who was Iraq's interim prime minister in 2004-05. The bloc is a minority in parliament but aspires to overrule al-Maliki on several key issues, Allawi said in an interview with USA TODAY...

The two largest Sunni groups in Iraq's parliament joined Allawi's coalition this week. A leading Kurdish politician and some moderate Shiites also have shown interest...

Allawi said that if he can form a legislative majority, he plans to:

•Replace police under control of the Interior Ministry with Iraqi army troops until the ministry can be thoroughly investigated and purged of militia loyalists.

•Impose two years of martial law with rigorously enforced curfews and added checkpoints.

•Remove a ban that keeps former members of the Baath Party, which ruled Iraq under Saddam Hussein, from holding government jobs.

Read the rest at USA Today

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