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Al-Mutlak: "There is No Political Alliance."
Despite Reports, Saleh al-Mutlak Denies Coalition With al-Maliki
By DANIEL W. SMITH 03/23/2009 9:16 PM ET
Iraqi Front for National Dialogue Leader Saleh al-Mutlak
Photo: Daniel W. Smith
Iraqi Front for National Dialogue Leader Saleh al-Mutlak

BAGHDAD – There have been prominent reports in past days of an alliance between Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s State of Law Coalition and outspoken lawmaker/Iraqi Front for National Dialogue leader Saleh al-Mutlak.

Mutlak has been one of the loudest voices of support for the Shi’a-led government’s reconciliation with elements of the former Baath party. Recently, the prime minister had been pushing for such reconciliation, but seems to have taken a public step back. Secular Sunni leader al-Mutlak, too, has changed his tone since last week.

“The Alliance we have talked about - it’s not a political one. It is an alliance within the governates only, but it is not a political alliance for the general election or for political parties,” al-Mutlak told Iraqslogger on Monday. The somewhat-confusing distinction he made between a “political” alliance and one “within the governates only” was explained as offices from both parties benefiting from a limited coalition in four provinces, but that, on the national level, both sides were to remain completely seperate and unconnected entities.

“We will join with al-Maliki when we see that al-Maliki is a real nationalist and not sectarian anymore, and will start real reconciliation in the country,” al-Mutlak continued. “He is still sectarian. The speech is different, but the speech does not really represent what is inside al-Maliki. From experience we have with him, al-Maliki is only for one sect - and only for Dawa Party, not even the whole sect.”

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