Iraqis outline new security council

Jan. 11, 2011 at 10:19 AM
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BAGHDAD, Jan. 11 (UPI) -- Lawmakers with the Sunni-backed Iraqiya slate said they wanted 20 members on a newly proposed national security council with their leader at the helm.

Former interim Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi led his Iraqiya slate to a narrow victory in March parliamentary elections. The Sunni-backed alliance was unable to generate enough support to form a new government, however.

Iraqi leaders are considering a National Council for Strategic Policies, a post that would be tasked with checking the powers of second-term Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

Kadhim al-Shimmari, an Iraqiya lawmaker, said the council would consist of the Iraqi president, vice presidents and other key Cabinet officials, including Maliki.

Ahmed Uraiby, another Iraqiya legislator, told the Voices of Iraq news agency that his party envisioned 20 members for the proposed security council with Allawi as the chairman.

"The council shall be a coordination council among the three leading presidencies -- the Parliament, the Council of Ministers and the presidency of the republic, provided it becomes a consultative council in the first place," he added.

Maliki in December was only able to get approval for a partial Cabinet, leaving many key ministerial posts filled by caretaker officials.

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