Maliki orders to cancel open leaves for Iraqiya ministers
07/01/2012 14:25
BAGHDAD, Jan. 7 (AKnews) - Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has cancelled the leaves of absence issued for ministers of Iraqiya List who want to end their boycott.

Following the Iraqiya ministers' boycott of Council of Ministers' sessions, Maliki granted the ministers' leaves of absence on Jan. 3 until they returned to the sessions.

Speaking to AKnews, Maliki's advisor Maryam al-Rais said the Prime Minister ordered the General Secretariat of the Council of Ministers and the head of his own office to cancel the leave orders for those ministers who decided to end their boycott and attend the sessions.

Five Iraqiya ministers have already contacted the P.M.'s office and expressed their willingness to participate in the coming session of the Council, she said.

The ministers for agriculture and communication who are from Iraqiya List demanded leaves of absence. The industry minister who is also from Iraqiya did not join the other five ministers in their boycott.

The boycott was in protest to what the Iraqiya ministers described as "unilateral rule" in the country. It followed the Council of Ministers rejection of demands for regional autonomy by Salahaddin and Diyala provincial councils, dominated by Iraqiya members, and Maliki's crack down on his political opponents.

By Haidar Ibrahim