Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Sunnis admit poll boycott blunder and ask to share power

Guardian Unlimited | The Guardian | Sunnis admit poll boycott blunder and ask to share power

Iraq's Arab Sunnis will do a U-turn and join the political process despite their lack of representation in the newly elected national assembly, Sunni leaders said yesterday.

Many Sunnis protested that the election was flawed and unfair, but in the wake of Sunday's results, which confirmed the marginalisation of what was Iraq's ruling class, their political parties want to lobby for a share of power.
"Our view is that this election was a step towards democracy and ending the occupation," said Ayad al-Samaray, the assistant general secretary of the Iraqi Islamic party. He said unnamed Sunni leaders blundered in depicting the election as a deepening of the occupation.
[...]
Secular Sunni leaders yesterday accepted the victors' invitation to participate, potentially draining support from the insurgency.

"We can't say it was wise or logical to not participate; it was an emotional decision," said Mr Samaray. "Now the Sunni community faces the fact that it made a big mistake and that it would have been far better to participate."

His party, the main Sunni group since the fall of Saddam Hussein's regime, was in talks with Kurds and Shias. He added: "The Sunni community will accept to share this country with others. They do not need to dominate."

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