Par­lia­ment le­gal­izes Shi­ite mili­tias

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - NATION+WORLD -

Rekin­dling sec­tar­ian ri­val­ries at a sen­si­tive time, Iraq’s par­lia­ment on Satur­day voted to fully le­gal­ize state-sanc­tioned Shi­ite mili­tias long ac­cused of abuses against mi­nor­ity Sun­nis, adopt­ing a leg­is­la­tion that pro­moted them to a gov­ern­ment force em­pow­ered to “de­ter” se­cu­rity and ter­ror threats fac­ing the coun­try, like the Is­lamic State group.

The leg­is­la­tion, sup­ported by 208 of the cham­ber’s 327 mem­bers, was quickly re­jected by Sunni Arab politi­cians and law­mak­ers as proof of the “dic­ta­tor­ship” of the coun­try’s Shi­ite ma­jor­ity and ev­i­dence of its fail­ure to honor prom­ises of in­clu­sion.

“The ma­jor­ity does not have the right to de­ter­mine the fate of ev­ery­one else,” Osama al-Nu­jaifi, one of Iraq’s three vice pres­i­dents and a se­nior Sunni politi­cian, told re­porters af­ter the vote, which was boy­cotted by many Sunni law­mak­ers.

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