Maliki: Critics Plot to Install Weak Leader

Iraqi PM Warns Sectarian Divisions Will Rise Without His Rule

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki took to the state media today to angrily condemn his political opponents, claiming that anyone who opposed his second term as prime minister was secretly plotting to install a weak leader, one which would tear the nation apart.

I do not understand the theory of a weak prime minister who will be a prisoner in the hands of one group or another,” Maliki declared, adding that if he did not retain his position the nation would return to the sectarian violence that characterized the early part of his current term in office.

But this appears to be happening at any rate, as data reveals that the civilian death toll in July was the highest in over two years, and the situation appears to be worsening all the time. Many of these deaths were the result of attacks on Shi’ite pilgrims.

Maliki’s State of Law faction came in second place in Iraq’s March 7 election, with the secular bloc of Ayad Allawi narrowly winning a plurality. Maliki’s only possible path to retaining his post, an alliance with the Iraqi National Alliance, appears to be all but dead, as the INA is said to have broken off all talks over Maliki’s demands and his refusal to pardon key INA figures.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.