Iraqiya officially ends government boycott

06/02/2012 12:50BAGHDAD, Feb. 6 (AKnews) - Iraqiya List has ended its boycott of the Council of Ministers following party talks yesterday.

Iraqiya member Hamid al-Mutlaq said the party made the decision due to the goodwill of fellow political parties to resolve the ongoing disputes.

"The return of the President of the Republic to Iraq [Jalal Talabani] and adopting the convergence of views between the political parties encouraged us to take the decision," said Mutlaq.

President Jalal Talabani returned to Baghdad on January 28having undergone surgery in Germany.

All eight ministers and the entire representatives of the Iraqiya alliance to the House of Representatives boycotted sessions late December in protest to what they claim is Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's policy of "unilateral ruling and lack of real partnership in government". The alliance, led by former Prime Minister Ayad Allawi,ended its House of Representatives boycott on January 29.

The three Iraqiya ministers responsible for education, science and technology and agriculture met last week with Maliki and expressed their intention to return to the Council of Ministers.

Last week the Iraqiya alliance announced it had received "positive" signs from Maliki which may set the stage for its return to government. This includes Maliki's willingness to adjust the partnership and balance in the government.

The Shiite-dominated National Alliance - the largest bloc - has stated that it will take time to meet Iraqiya's demands.