Saturday, December 17, 2005
Leading Sunni Wants Compromise
BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) — A leading Sunni politician said Friday his party would be open to an alliance with secular Shiites and Kurds to form a coalition government to run the country once the results are in from this week's parliamentary elections.
U.S. officials view al-Dulaimi, who heads an alliance called the Iraqi Accordance Front, as a possible intermediary who could persuade some Sunni-led insurgent groups in restive Anbar province to join the political process after boycotting previous votes.
In an interview with The Associated Press, al-Dulaimi predicted that Shiite religious parties would be unable to form a government — even though they are widely expected to take the largest number of seats.
That would open the door to a coalition of Sunnis, secular Shiites and Kurds, al-Dulaimi said.
Under the newly ratified constitution, the party with the biggest number of seats gets first crack at trying to form a government than can win parliament's endorsement. That is likely to be the coalition of Shiite religious parties that dominate the outgoing government.
Still, a government with strong Sunni Arab representation could help defuse the Sunni-dominated insurgency and allow the United States and its coalition partners to begin removing troops next year.
GOI: This is a great sign that the Sunni are beginning to see the importance of the political process.
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