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5 more Iraq ministers boycott cabinet meetings

[JURIST] Five Iraqi Cabinet ministers belonging to the secular and nonsectarian Iraqi National List announced a boycott of government meetings Monday, saying the coalition has decided to suspend its government participation because Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki [BBC profile] has not responded to their demands to end sectarian favoritism. Iraqi National List lawmaker Iyad Jamal-Aldin said that coalition's decision to suspend participation was not related to the resignation [JURIST report] of all six Iraqi Accordance Front [BBC backgrounder] Cabinet members last Wednesday. The boycott of the five ministers, consisting of two Shi'a, two Sunni and a Christian, effectively leaves no Sunni representation in al-Maliki's government.

On Sunday, al-Maliki said he refused to accept the resignations [JURIST report], and urged the Iraqi Accordance Front to return to the government. The Iraqi Accordance Front, which has 44 of 275 seats in the Iraqi Council of Representatives [official website, in Arabic], responded that it was committed to the resignations, citing al-Maliki's failure to respond to demands [JURIST report] made by the party last month, including pardons for uncharged security detainees, the participation of all government-represented groups in security-related issues, a commitment to human rights, and the disbanding of all private militias. The Iraqi National List has 25 seats. AP has more.

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