Iraq Parliament Votes to Keep Maliki From Seeking New Term
In the bloody aftermath of street protests that turned violent on Friday in Falluja, Iraq’s Parliament passed a law on Saturday intended to prevent Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki from seeking a third term.
The parliamentary move was the latest threat to Mr. Maliki’s hold on power and reflected rising anger among rivals over his leadership, but it appeared unlikely that the law, which would need to approved by Iraq’s president, would ever go into effect.
Mr. Maliki’s coalition in Parliament boycotted the vote, and an official close to the prime minister called it unconstitutional and vowed to appeal to the federal courts, which on paper are independent but in practice bend to Mr. Maliki’s will.
Sami al-Askari, a lawmaker from Mr. Maliki’s coalition, said the law would “not see the light of day” because, he said, it is unconstitutional. “We are not worried about the vote on this law,” Mr. Askari said.
Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the Gulf States are doing all they can to strengthen Iraq's Sunni minority (politically and militarily) as a buffer against Iran's powerful influence on Sadr's Shiite militias and Maliki's central government. Meanwhile the Iraqi Kurds are basically starting their own country up in the oil-rich North. It looks to be a long hot Summer in Mesopotamia.