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Iraq Sunni party leaves government after rights demands not met

[JURIST] The Iraqi Accordance Front [BBC backgrounder], the largest Sunni parliamentary bloc, announced Wednesday that it was leaving the government and that the party's six Cabinet members would be turning in their resignations. The move is said to be a response to the failure of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki [BBC profile] to respond to demands made by the party last week, including pardons for uncharged security detainees, the participation of all government-represented groups in security-related issues, and a commitment to human rights. The Front holds 44 of the 275 total seats in the Iraqi Parliament and was an important partner in al-Maliki's National Reconciliation Plan [text].

In July, the Accordance Front said that it was suspending participation [JURIST report] in al-Maliki's coalition government pending his answer to the specific demands. The demands came just a week after Sunni members of the Iraqi Council of Representatives ended a lengthy boycott of parliamentary sessions [JURIST report] after agreeing to a secret deal with Shi'a political parties to reinstate the ousted Sunni lawmaker Mahmoud al-Mashhadani [Wikipedia profile] as speaker of the Council of Representatives. AP has more.

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