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Iraq's First Deputy Speaker of Council of Representatives Comments on Recent Violence

An increase in Iraqi violence continues to concern analysts who worry that insurgents are increasing their sectarian attacks. The latest was a car bomb Friday in Mosul that killed at least 50 Shi'ite pilgrims. Also on Friday, the first deputy speaker of the Iraqi Council of Representatives spoke at the United States Institute of Peace in Washington, an independent institution set up to promote peaceful resolutions to international conflicts.

Friday was the second-deadliest day in Iraq since American forces withdrew in June, with more than 50 killed.

A roadside bomb took the lives of several Shi'ite pilgrims on this minibus entering Sadr City, one in a series of attacks that concern analysts who fear insurgents are increasing sectarian violence.

The first deputy Speaker of Iraq's Parliament spoke before the United States Institute of Peace. Later, in an exclusive interview with VOA, Sheihk Khalid al-Atiya said the situation is improving.

AL-ATIYA: "Now terrorists are being chased out from one place to the other and the security apparatus is getting enough experience and powerful to combat them. In spite of all this, we still expect that some of the incidents will happen here and there because there are still opponents to the political process from within Iraq and outside."

PRESUTTI: "It sounds like you are saying Iraq will never be free of this type of violence?"

AL-ATIYA: "No, I think if Iraq continues the political process and successfully builds a strong government and strong parliament, Iraq could put a limit to terrorism."

The Parliament, including member Sheikh al-Atiya, will debate the structure of upcoming national elections during the next five months. He supports open lists, meaning people can vote for individual candidates or the party, which lists its candidates by name. Instead of voting for the party with no named candidates. He also likes the multiple district system.

"This will also contribute to the precise representation of the population and encourage them to widely participate in those elections and interact with it," he added.

And that, the Sheikh says, could take the country out of Civil War and direct it toward rebuilding.