Return of Sunnites to Iraqi Parliament Not Guaranteeing Stability for Country: Experts

Azerbaijan, Baku / 30 April / corr Trend E.Tariverdiyeva, R.Hafizoglu / The return of Sunnites to the Iraqi Parliament does not guarantee stability to the country, but is sure to entail new splashes of mass disorders both by the part of Sunnite communities and large Shiite population in Iraq.

"The stability expected upon the return of representatives of Sunnites to the Parliament will be of temporary character, because Shiites are still not prepared to share the power with the Sunnites," Kenneth Katzman, an American political expert, said.

The Iraqi Rescue Front Party (IRF), representing the large Muslim-Sunnite faction at the Iraqi Parliament, dismissed its ministers from the Government in June 2007, and then announced on boycotting the Parliament. A decision on boycotting the Cabinet was taken as a sign of protest to terrorism charges. After long talks the Sunnite faction decided to return to the Parliament last week, in exchange to partial satisfaction of their requirements.

"The Sunnites are negotiating a return to the Cabinet to rebuild their influence. Their influence decreased considerably in Iraq following their leaving from the Parliamentary Cabinet in mid 2007," Katzman, a Specialist in Middle East Affairs at Congressional Research Service, told Trend on 30 April via e-mail.

Also, they are trying to encourage further progress on political reconciliation, which has seen some movement this year with passage of De-Baathification reform law, and agreement to hold early provincial elections, as well as amnesty law, he said.

The key reason for return of Sunnites to the Parliament with their leader Adnan Duleymi, is the will to correct the political mistakes made in the past, Saleh Al-Kabiy, the Turkish political expert, said. "Sunnites understand that they can introduce considerable changes in the political system of Iraq. Therefore, their departure from the Parliament last year was an incorrect step," Al-Kabiy, a leading political expert of Al-Sabah newspaper told Trend on 30 April via e-mail.

Returning to the Parliament, Sunnites strive for reducing the political influence of Iran over Iraq, the expert does not rule out. "Though the current Iraqi Government is democratic, the Shiite community leads and that enables Iran to influence on the Iraqi Parliament," he said.

"Return of Sunnites to the Parliament does not stabilize the political situation, but considerably decreases Iran's influence, which is the very important result," Al-Kabiy considers.

The Sunnites probably began negotiations with the Government of Iraq because they see this Government as having achieved a certain amount of stability and permanence, Michael M. Gunter, Professor of the Tennessee Technological University, said.

Therefore, the Sunnis are interested in obtaining a place for themselves in this Government so that they can participate in their fair proportion of the resources and representation due to their population percentages, he told Trend via e-mail on 30 April.

It remains to be seen whether Sunnite participation in the Government will increase its stability or merely prove to be a new tactic in sectarian and ethnic violence within Iraq, the expert said.

Sunnites comprise approximately 40% of population in Iraq, whilst Shiites remain the leading political force over the past few years following the commencement of war in Iraq. The analyst said that there are real terms for sectarian collapse within the Islamic world despite the calls to the Muslim fraternity.

This year Iraq saw sharp parliamentary crisis between the two religious trends. The speaker of the Parliament event threatened appealing to the President for the dissolution of the Parliament unless the rivaling fractions reach agreement and provide for adoption of the 2008 public budget and some important laws. Last week Sunnites agreed upon returning to the Parliament of Iraq.

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