Monday, March 05, 2007

Sadr movement says it will not give up posts unless others in coalition do

Members of the political block of Moqtada al-Sadr at a press conference in November announcing their withdrawal from government to protest Maliki's meeting with Bush.

BAGHDAD, Iraq: Followers of an anti-American Shiite cleric warned Monday they will not relinquish their Cabinet posts unless other members of the ruling coalition do the same, setting the stage for a major political battle as Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki prepares to reshuffle his administration.

Al-Maliki told The Associated Press on Saturday that he would reshuffle his Cabinet within two weeks. He did not say how many posts would be changed.

But an adviser to the prime minister said 10 ministers would be replaced. They include five of the six ministers loyal to cleric Muqtada al-Sadr. The adviser spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not supposed to release the information.

The Sunni bloc would lose two ministries and one deputy prime minister. The secular group led by former Prime Minister Ayad Allawi would give up two positions, the adviser said.

Read the rest at the International Herald Tribune

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