Major Sunni bloc to boycott Iraq election
A major Sunni bloc said on Saturday it will boycott Iraq's March 7 general election because of Iranian interference. The National Dialogue Front led by Saleh al-Mutlak, a leading Sunni MP banned from the election on account of links to the Baath Party, confirmed its candidates would not contest the poll.
"After the remarks of General Ray Odierno and (US ambassador to Baghdad) Christopher Hill that the Justice and Accountability Committee (JAC) was being run by Al-Quds forces (from Iran), the National Dialogue Front cannot continue in a political process run by a foreign agenda," the group's spokesman Haider al-Mullah told reporters in Baghdad.
"The National Dialogue Front therefore announces its stance is to boycott the forthcoming election and the invitation is open to other political entities to take the same stance."
Mutlak was the main Sunni figure in former Shiite premier Allawi's broad-based Iraqiya coalition until the JAC barred him from standing for office.