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PM Maliki supports centralism and not granting powers to provinces, says committee

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PM Maliki supports centralism and not granting powers to provinces, says committee

24/03/2012 13:07

BAGHDAD, March 24 (AKnews) - Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki supports centralism in Iraq's government rather than granting more powers to the provinces, adding that the latter would divide the country, said the Regions Committee in the Iraqi Council of Representatives today.

nuri al-maliki in kurdistanCommittee member Mahdi Haji of the Kurdish Blocs Coalition said: "Several months ago there were uprisings in Diyala, Salahaddin, Anbar and Nineveh provinces that demanded Maliki personally to increase the powers of the provinces.

"There's a difference between the ideologies of the committee and that of Maliki about centralism."

Maliki vowed since late last year to expand the powers of the provinces, after weeks of the demands from provinces to be granted autonomy and become regions.

Local officials in provinces demanded autonomy on several occasions, particularly Anbar, Salahaddin and Diyala but other officials rejected the idea and consider it part of a plan to divide Iraq along sectarian lines.

Maliki currently refuses the demands for regional autonomy and repeated more than once that Iraqis are not eligible for this because of Iraq's religious diversity.

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