Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, whose replacement remains on hold after yesterday’s parliament session broke up in chaos in a matter of minutes, continues to urge “unity,” but unity that centers around continuing his rule as premier into a third term.
Yesterday’s parliament session was the first for the newly elected parliament, and was expected to center on forming a new government. Any deal seems far apart, and parliament will meet again next week, but it seems liable to end the same way as this week’s meeting did.
The US, keen to see Maliki replaced, has been making calls, pushing various Iraqi MPs into trying to come up with some sort of “unity” deal with someone other than Maliki at the helm. Vice President Joe Biden has been making the calls.
Maliki seems to be holding out his hope toward courting the Sunni on an offer of amnesty for tribesmen who had joined the ISIS rebellion, but he faces strong opposition from not only Sunni Arabs, but from Kurds and his fellow Shi’ites as well.
A number of Shi’ite MPs have been put forward as replacements for Maliki, with Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council MP Adel Abdul-Mahdi and Iraqi National Congress leader Ahmed Chalabi being talked up as the front-runners.