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1129Iraq's President Calls for Prime Minister to Step Down

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  • Greg Cannon
    Oct 2, 2005
    • 0 Attachment
      http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20051002/ap_on_re_mi_ea/iraq_politics

      Iraq's President Calls for PM to Step Down

      49 minutes ago

      KIRKUK, Iraq -
      Iraq's Kurdish president called on the country's
      Shiite prime minister to step down, the spokesman for
      the president's party said Sunday, escalating a
      political split between the two factions that make up
      the government.

      President Jalal Talabani has accused the Shiite-led
      United Iraqi Alliance, which holds the majority in
      parliament, of monopolizing power in the government
      and refusing to move ahead on a key issue for Kurds,
      the resettlement of Kurds in the northern city of
      Kirkuk.

      "The time has come for the United Iraqi Alliance and
      the Kurdistan coalition to study Prime Minister
      Ibrahim al-Jaafari's stepping aside from his post,"
      said Azad Jundiyani, a spokesman for Talabani's
      Patriotic Union of Kurdistan. "This is for the benefit
      of the political process."

      Jundiyani would not say whether the Kurds would
      withdraw from the government if the Shiite alliance
      does not back them in removing al-Jaafari. Talabani
      has made indirect threats to withdraw from the
      coalition if Kurdish demands are not met.

      The two blocs have been the bedrock of the temporary
      government. Its collapse would add a new layer of
      political instability and underline how struggles for
      power are undermining efforts to get Iraq's fractious
      communities to work together in a new political
      system.

      Iraq is holding an Oct. 15 referendum on a new
      constitution that leaders of Iraq's Sunni Arab
      minority reject, while it is backed by the Shiites and
      Kurds.

      Jawad al-Maliki, a Shiite legislator and a leader in
      al-Jaafari's Dawaa party, denounced the call.

      "They should have asked us for that in a legal way,
      and then we will have discussions," he said. "It is
      not beneficial for Iraq, especially during this period
      of time because the country is heading to a referendum
      and elections."