- Selfies gone too far? N.Y. woman snaps photo in front of suicidal man on bridge
- Rob Ford gets D.C. sports radio gig: Toronto’s crack-smoking mayor will make NFL picks
- Israel mulls gift of West Bank land to Palestinians
- Stocks gain as investors weigh economic news
- Doctors say ‘profound’ new HIV treatment may prove the cure
- Mexican truck with radioactive load stolen
- NYPD head Ray Kelly wins big retirement perk — a $1.5M tax-paid team of bodyguards
- Pentagon weighing ‘second start’ for overexposed youth in social media
- Libraries to feds: Stop spying on us
- Britain eyes new powers to thwart Islamic extremists
Iraq’s Sunni-backed bloc united against al-Maliki
Question of the Day
BAGHDAD (AP) — A Sunni-backed bloc that came first in elections seven months ago is united against the bid by Shi'ite Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to remain in office, a party spokesman said Monday, in another clear sign of deep divisions over efforts to end Iraq's political impasse.
The pledge of solidarity against Mr. al-Maliki vividly shows the rifts since the March elections but means little to effectively block his bid to retain power.
Mr. al-Maliki is close to putting together a parliamentary majority after getting backing from hard-line Shi'ite factions and others. Support from Kurdish parties would give him a commanding coalition and the ability to begin forming a government.
The defiant stance of the Sunni-backed group threatens to shatter the fragile rapprochement between majority Sunnis and Shi'ites just three years since the country stepped back from the brink of sectarian civil war. It also is a direct blow to U.S. calls for a new government to represent all Iraqi rival groups and move ahead with reconciliation and desperately needed reconstruction projects.
Hayder al-Mulla, a spokesman for the Sunni-backed Iraqiya group, demanded that Mr. al-Maliki and his allies "give up the post" of prime minister to acknowledge the narrow election victory of Ayad Allawi, Iraqiya's leader. Mr. Allawi served as prime minister after the U.S.-led invasion in 2003.
"The prime minister's post is for all Iraqis and not for one sect or one party," he said in a direct reference to the dominance of Shi'ites' political affairs and security forces since the fall of Saddam Hussein's Sunni-led regime.
Mr. Allawi's coalition won the most seats in the March parliamentary elections but could not pull in enough partners to gain a majority in the 325-seat chamber.
The comments by the party spokesman also sought to counter reports of defections to Mr. al-Maliki's side.
"Iraqiya says clearly it won't participate in any government headed by al-Maliki. Our reservations over al-Maliki come out of the bitter experiences the past four years," Mr. al-Mulla told reporters at a parliament press conference. The house has had only one informal session, which lasted 20 minutes, since March, in which lawmakers protested the postelection deadlock.
Mr. al-Mulla also warned that Iraq, under Mr. al-Maliki, would be mired in political feuds that could hamper efforts at luring foreign investment and complicate internal security cooperation as U.S. military force leave.
On Sunday, a key Sunni political leader in the northern city of Mosul told the Associated Press that a return of Mr. al-Maliki as government leader would destroy the country's "last chance for democracy."
"If Iraqis can't get together to form a government that is in keeping with the election results, there will be no longer any kind of support for democracy. And in the future there will be no desire to join the democratic process," said Atheel al-Nujaifi, governor of the northern Ninevah province.
The political maneuvering comes amid a wave of attacks targeting security personnel and government workers. The bombings and shootings, blamed on Sunni insurgents, is seen as an attempt to discredit Mr. al-Maliki's leadership and tap into public frustration over the political bind.
In Baghdad, a roadside bombing targeted the convoy of a deputy minister in Iraq's government, Fouad al-Moussawi, killing a bodyguard and wounding at least seven people, police officials said. Mr. al-Moussawi was unharmed.
In a separate attack in the capital, an employee at Iraq's Public Works Ministry was wounded severely after a bomb attached to his car exploded, police said.
All the officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to talk to the media.
By Tom Harris and Madhav Khandekar
Bad science puts rich nations on the hook for trillions in climate liabilities
- Hola: Boehner prepares to push amnesty bill through House
- U.S. drops 2,000 mice on Guam by parachute to kill snakes
- Kill team: Obama war chiefs widen drone death zones
- MILLER: Obamas EPA closing smelter will not affect ammunition supply
- Issa: FBI impeding inquiry into IRS targeting of conservative groups
- CARSON: Getting to the top by starting at the bottom
- Westboro Baptists slam actor Paul Walker: He's 'in Hell'
- Last call: State Dept. bought $180,000 in liquor before shutdown
- Apple wins facial recognition patent for iPhone 6
- Harry Reid gives some staffers a pass on Obamacare
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Columns from Voices around the World talking about the events, people, politics and social issues that concern us wherever, and whoever, we are.
This column will cover anything that has anything remotely to do with the game of baseball, from the game itself to mid-summer trades to offseason moves.
The cold hard truth about politics in America today and the state of this once great nation.
Never apologetic. Never afraid. Lieutenant Colonel Allen B. West joins Communities to bring tales from the biggest Foxhole of them all, the one inside the Beltway.