[JURIST] Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki [BBC profile] announced Sunday that sectarian leaders have come to an agreement on several contentious draft laws which have been identified by the US as key to the country's progress [JURIST report]. Under the new agreement, former Baath Party [party website, in Arabic; JURIST news archive] members not convicted of any crimes will be allowed to participate in the political process and serve in the civil and military service and procedures will be established to allow the release of uncharged security detainees. One of al-Maliki's advisers also indicated that the leaders have agreed to a draft law on the distribution of oil revenues [JURIST news archive]. The proposals must all still be adopted by the Iraqi Council of Representatives [official website, in Arabic].
In early August, the Sunni Iraqi Accordance Front left the government [JURIST report] after al-Maliki refused its demands that he pardon uncharged security detainees and let all government-represented groups participate in security matters. Later five Iraqi Cabinet ministers belonging to the secular and nonsectarian Iraqi National List announced a boycott of government meetings [JURIST report], effectively ending Sunni representation in al-Maliki's government. The move prompted Shi'a and Kurdish leaders to create a new coalition government [JURIST report] to ensure that the coalition government will maintain a majority in the 275-seat legislature and be able to push through legislation seen as essential to the stabilization of Iraq. Reuters has more. BBC News has additional coverage.