Iraq Sunni bloc suspends parliament participation

BAGHDAD - Iraq's Sunni-backed bloc on Saturday suspended its participation in parliament accusing Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's Shi'ite-led government of concentrating power, a sign of rising political tensions as US troops withdraw.
The move by the Iraqiya parliamentary bloc, headed by former Prime Minister Iyad Allawi, intensifies political jostling among the Shi'ite, Sunni and Kurdish blocs who form Iraq's fragile power-sharing government.
Iraqiya said in a statement it was "suspending its participation in parliament ... until further notice", accusing Maliki of stalling on promises to form a partnership government.
Iraqiya's decision highlights the sectarian tensions always close to the surface in Iraq and shows the fragile nature of country's power-sharing balance as the last American troops withdraw before Dec. 31.
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