GIs Sweep Through Baghdad
Legislators pressed ahead with business on Monday as members of the 275-member National Assembly met to hear proposed rules for governing the lawmaking body.
Hussein al-Sadr, a lawmaker from the coalition of outgoing Prime Minister Ayad Allawi, said the group had decided to participate in the government, adding that the participation must be a "real and effective one and not a nominal one."
He said the coalition was demanding four ministerial posts, including one of the main ministries.
"If our demands are not met, then we will lead the opposition in the parliament," he said.
Ali al-Dabagh, a lawmaker from the Shiite-led United Iraq Alliance, said he thought the demands were too high.
One of Iraq's two vice presidents — Ghazi al-Yawer, a Sunni Arab met with Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, a leading Shiite religious leader who called on voters to cast ballots on Jan. 30.
"We came as a delegation to thank Mr. Al-Sistani for his great work and insistence that led to the success of the elections and formation of a National Assembly," al-Yawer told reporters after the 90-minute meeting in the holy city of Najaf.
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