Crisis in Iraq deepens, Maliki refuses to bow out

nouri-al-malikiThe political turmoil in Iraq has taken  a new and vicious turn after Iraq’s President Fouad Massoum nominated Shia politician Haider al-Abadi as a candidate to replace Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki.

The nomination was, however, disputed by Maliki who declared it legally invalid and an “error” that would be rectified.  In a dramatic television address to the nation a desperate Maliki spoke of his role as the head of the State of Law and the Dawa party and reprimanded the move to oust him.

“I am Nouri al-Maliki, and I am the head of State of Law, and I am the head of Dawa [party], and no one has the right to deal under our name without my approval.”

On August 10, Maliki had also threatened to sue to the president and deployed security forces at key areas in and around Baghdad.

Under Iraq’s constitution, Haider has 30 days to form an inclusive government during which Maliki will be a caretaker leader and commander in chief of Iraq’s security forces.

Within the given time-frame, the 62 year old Abadi will have to seek . support among the minority Kurds and Sunnis to form the government. However, he will be encouraged by the support from US’ President Barack Obama, who announced August 11 that choosing Abadi was “a promising step forward.” Obama has underlined that “the only lasting solution is for Iraqis to come together and form an inclusive government.”

The US has also made increased aid conditional to Iraq forming a government that represents the country’s different religious and ethnic groups.

Maliki, who has been Iraq’s premier for eight years, has been criticised for being authoritarian and alienating Sunnis, thus creating an environment that has allowed Sunni Jihadist like the Islamic State to seize control of large swathes of the Iraqi territory.

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