World Bulletin / News Desk
The leader of Iraqi List Ayad Allawi on Sunday called on the ministers of his block to walk out of the government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki in protest against the detention of a bloc lawmaker from the western Iraqi province of al-Anbar.
"All bloc ministers should quit this government and shoulder their legal and moral responsibility," Allawi said.
Protests have intensified in al-Anbar on Sunday after the authorities have failed to release lawmaker Ahmed al-Alwani who was arrested by the authorities on Saturday.
The Iraqi province has been the site of a months-long sit-in against al-Maliki's government, accusing the government of discrimination against the Sunnis.
The protests coincide with a decision by the government to send in army units to fight terrorists reported to be hiding in the western desert of the province on the border with Syria and Jordan.
Al-Anbar chieftains, however, accused the government of sending the troops to their province only to help evict the sit-in by force.
Allawi's bloc, mainly made up of liberal politicians, possesses 91 seats in the 325-seat Iraqi parliament.
He said if al-Alwani is accused in any irregularities, the authorities should have lifted his parliamentary immunity first before arresting him.
Allawi, a former Iraqi prime minister, announced the formation of a team of bloc members to hold talks with al-Maliki to find solutions for the problems of al-Anbar.
He said the team of negotiators would ask the Iraqi premier to release the detained lawmaker.
Relations turned tense between the tribes of al-Anbar and the Iraqi army after the army accused province demonstrators staging the sit-in of killing five soldiers last April.Güncelleme Tarihi: 29 Aralık 2013, 16:58