Most Sunni politicians who publicly lead or address the current protests in Anbar, Mosul and other Sunni areas were part of electoral coalitions that identified themselves as nationalist, non-sectarian and even cross-sectarian.
In the last general election in 2010, most of them were running in the Iraqiya coalition, which was defined as cross-sectarian and formally led by the secular Shiite Iyad Alawi. What triggered the current demonstrations was the case of Rafi al-Issawi, the former finance minister whose house was assaulted by security forces, with several of his bodyguards arrested on charges of terrorism. Issawi is among the few Sunni politicians who seemed to have gained a broader base by identifying themselves with the protesters. Others are, for example, Ahmed abu Risha, the former leader of the "Awakening group" which allied with the US army in the battle against al-Qaeda in Anbar. He was a leading figure in the "Unity of Iraq" coalition led by the former Shiite minister of interior, Jawad Boulani.