Iraqiya members flee arrest warrants14/01/2012 09:34
GARMIYAN, Jan. 14 (AKnews) - Arrest warrants for five Iraqiya members from Diyala Province have been issued. Others members of former Prime Minister Ayad Allawi's opposition coalition fear they will be next, retribution for Diyala's full throated demanded for regional autonomy.
Almost a month ago Diyala Provincial Council, dominated by Iraqiya, voted for regional autonomy. The following night the Council building was occupied by protesters and police.
Sessions were relocated within the Province, from Baquba to Khanaqin. Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and Diyala Operations Command called on Iraqiya to return to Baquba for Council sessions. They fell on deaf ears as the Iraqiya politicians feared for their lives if they returned.
Jalil Ibrahim, a Kurdish member of Diyala Council, told AKnews that most of the members who were present when the regional autonomy demand was made have fled to Khanaqin, Kalar, Erbil and Sulaimaniyah.
He added the fleeing members fear for their lives, they have no bodyguards and security organizations do not help them.
Ibrahim said despite the fact that the situation in Diyala is currently normal compared to the time of the announcement, the Iraqiya members refuse to return to Baquba because there is no guarantee that they will be protected.
He cited an Iraqiya member as saying if they return to Baquba, they would probably be accused of terrorism.
Asked how Diyala Council can decide on federalism while its members are not ready to convene at the provincial capital Ibrahim said Iraqiya members "fear the government not the people."
By Qader Ismael