Iraq’s Parliament Adopts Law Legalizing Shiite Militias – New York Times
BAGHDAD — 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.
“There should be genuine political inclusion. This law must be revised.”
Another Sunni politician, legislator Ahmed al-Masary, said the law cast doubt on the participation in the political process by all of Iraq’s religious and ethnic factions.
“The legislation aborts nation building,” he said, adding it would pave the way for a dangerous parallel to the military and police.