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Iraq’s largest Sunni alliance splits

The opening session of New Iraqi Parliament held at the Parliament Building on 3 September 2018 in Baghdad, Iraq. [Haydar Karaalp - Anadolu Agency]
A parliamentary session at the Parliament Building in Baghdad, Iraq on 3 September 2018 [Haydar Karaalp/Anadolu Agency]

The National Axis alliance, the largest Sunni bloc in the Iraqi parliament, has split into two; the Alliance of Iraqi Forces and the National Axis Alliance, following internal differences between its members.

The split took place on Monday, hours after the alliance ended the membership of Parliament Speaker, Mohammed Al-Halbusi, in preparation for the election of a new parliament speaker.

In response, 32 Sunni lawmakers withdrew from the National Axis Alliance and formed the Alliance of Iraqi Forces led by Al-Halbulsi while the remaining Sunni representatives formed the National Axis Alliance led by Khamis Al-Khanjar.

A member of the Alliance of Iraqi Forces, Raad Al-Dahlaki, told the Anadolu Agency that “the newly formed alliance represents all the provinces liberated from Daesh terrorist group and conveys their suffering to the parliament to find solutions for them.”

Members of the original alliance have accused each over the past weeks of bribing members of the Nineveh Provincial Council to vote for their candidate to be elected governor.

Member of the National Axis Alliance, Ahmed Jubouri, told Anadolu that “all deputies are free to choose their political partners”. He went on to describe the allegations of corruption as “unacceptable”.

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