Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki today condemned the calls by rival Ayad Allawi for the international community to help the nation set up an impartial caretaker government and hold new elections, adding that it was inappropriate for Allawi to make so many visits to neighboring nations.
There is growing concern that the Maliki government’s arrests of Allawi’s MPs, and efforts by the government to disqualify numerous members of Allawi’s Iraqiya bloc could overturn Iraqiya’s narrow plurality in the March 7 vote and drive the Sunni voters responsible for that plurality to violence.
But Maliki claims that the international community is involved in a plot to orchestrate a “coup” against his government, and insists that the problem is something for the Iraqi government to solve itself.
The allegation is likely to further drive a wedge between Maliki and the international community, not to mention the growing number of Iraqis who see his government trying to overturn an election in which his State of Law bloc finished a disappointing second.
Whatever plurality Maliki manages to obtain, he is certain to require some support from other blocs, and the more damage his credibility takes the more difficult it will be for other blocs to join with him.
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