[QODLink]
Middle East
Iraq blocs suspend coalition talks
Iraqiya breaks off negotiations with State of Law over Nouri al-Maliki's statement.
Last Modified: 16 Aug 2010 18:22 GMT
Iraq's elections in March failed to throw up
a clear winner [EPA]

Iraq's two main political blocs have broken off coalition talks, adding to the political impasse over the formation of a new government.

Iraqiya bloc headed by Iyad Allawi, the former prime minister, said on Monday that it had suspended talks with the State of Law bloc headed by Nouri al-Maliki, the country's incumbent prime minister, in protest against al-Maliki's "sectarian tone".

"We have called off our negotiations with State of Law," Maysoon al-Damluji, the Iraqiya spokeswoman, said.

"We are not a Sunni bloc, we are a nationalist mission," she added, denouncing al-Maliki's recent TV interview in which he described Iraqiya as a "Sunni bloc".

Apology demanded

However, Allawi's party left the door open for a return to talks.

"We have asked him to apologise. Without an apology, we are not going to negotiate with him anymore," she said.

While Allawi is a Shia, like al-Maliki and the majority of Iraqis, his bloc claimed most of its support from the predominantly Sunni regions of western and northern Iraq in a March 7 general election.

Allawi's Iraqiya achieved a narrow victory in the general elections, when it came first with 91 seats out of Iraq's parliament 325 seats. Al-Maliki's State of Law came second with 89 seats.  

More than five months after the vote, neither blocs have yet managed to form a governing coalition with the necessary majority.

The resultant political uncertainty has raised security concerns with analysts saying that armed groups might exploit the situation to their advantage.

They fear a spike in violence from the anti-government fighters for destabilising the country and undermining state authority.

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Israel's Operation Protective Edge is the third major offensive on the Gaza Strip in six years.
Muslims and Arabs in the US say they face discrimination in many areas of life, 13 years after the 9/11 attacks.
At one UN site alone, approximately four children below the age of five are dying each day.
Featured
Afghan militias have accumulated a lengthy record of human-rights abuses, including murders and rapes.
Growing poverty is strengthening a trend among UK Muslims to fund charitable work closer to home.
A groundbreaking study from Johns Hopkins University shows that for big segments of the US population it is.
Critics claim a vaguely worded secrecy law gives the Japanese government sweeping powers.
A new book looks at Himalayan nation's decades of political change and difficult transition from monarchy to democracy.
join our mailing list