Iraq's Sunni-backed Iraqiya bloc returned to parliament on Tuesday, ending their boycott over a political crisis within Shi'ite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's government, but several of its ministers held out by snubbing his cabinet.
The crisis began after Maliki's government sought the arrest of Sunni Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi and the removal of his Sunni Deputy Prime Minister Saleh al-Mutlaq, prompting Iraqiya to boycott parliament and cabinet meetings.
Iraqiya on Sunday agreed to end its parliament protest and most of its lawmakers returned to the legislature on Tuesday where they were scheduled to take part in discussions of the delayed 2012 budget bill.
But Iraqiya's ministers of finance, education, and science, would not return to cabinet, two Iraqiya members said, demanding the return of Mutlaq to government. At least three of its ministers planned to attend the cabinet meeting.
"They decided to go back to parliament because of the budget," said Jaber al-Jaberi, lawmaker and member of parliament's finance committee.
Ahmed al-Alwani, a senior Iraqiya lawmaker, said the bloc would continue talks over the next few days over its cabinet boycott. But talks between Maliki's Shi'ite alliance and Iraqiya had so far not touched on Mutlaq's return, another senior Iraqiya source said.
Maliki appears to have shored up his own position during the crisis with Iraqiya deeply splintered. Some of its ministers kept working and a group of its lawmakers threatened to break away over boycott they saw as political damaging.
ReutersGüncelleme Tarihi: 31 Ocak 2012, 12:45