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Pro al-Sadr Lawmakers Quit Iraqi Ruling Alliance

15 September 2007

Iraqi lawmakers loyal to radical Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr say they have pulled out of parliament's ruling Shi'ite coalition.

Al-Sadr's parliamentary bloc said late Saturday it decided to quit Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's United Iraqi Alliance because the government had not responded to its demands.

Earlier this week, pro-al-Sadr lawmakers threatened to withdraw from the ruling alliance unless the government improved security and public services.

Al-Sadr's faction controls 30 seats in Iraq's 275-member parliament.

Another Iraqi Shi'ite movement, the Fadhila Party, withdrew its 15 seats from the United Iraqi Alliance in March due to a dispute about Cabinet seats.

Moqtada al-Sadr pulled his six ministers out of Iraq's Cabinet in April when Prime Minister Maliki refused to set a timetable for U.S. troops to leave Iraq.

Some information for this report provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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