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Maliki Faces Tough Political Choices Ahead of Election

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki faces tough political choices ahead, because he must reconcile with some of his Sunni and Kurdish opponents to win another term, writes Ali Abel Sadah.
Iraqi Sunni Muslims take part in an anti-government demonstration in Falluja, 50 km (31 miles) west of Baghdad, April 5, 2013. Thousands of Sunni Muslims protested after Friday prayers in huge rallies against Shi'ite Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, demanding that he step down. REUTERS/Mohanned Faisal (IRAQ - Tags: POLITICS) CIVIL UNREST) - RTXY9JG
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In an unprecedented move to confront the Sunni demonstrations, which have now been going on for nearly 100 days, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki took a series of decisions regarding former leaders of the Baath Party, allowing Baath Party division heads to hold government posts, and addressing the issue of Fedayeen Saddam’s militia.

Fedayeen Saddam is a very powerful and rigorous paramilitary group, formed by former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein in the mid-1990s. It was popular in nature and consisted of youth loyal to the head of the former Iraqi regime. As for the unit members, they were senior officials in the Baath Party, which was dissolved as US troops entered the country and the party’s regime fell.

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