Iraq PM Maliki Steps Down, Backs Successor

Abadi Still Has to Form a New Govt

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, after a multi-day attempt to retain power that included deploying tanks into the Baghdad Green Zone and filing lawsuits claiming constitutional violations, has finally agreed to step down and end his eight years in office.

Maliki gave a speech today announcing he is stepping down and endorsing his successor, Prime Minister-designate Hayder Abadi, who is also a member of his Dawa Party.

Maliki had maintained that as the Dawa leader, only he was constitutionally allowed to be PM-designate, though his overwhelming unpopularity, even within his own party, meant he had no chance of forming a government. That task will now fall of Abadi, who seems to have enough votes to do so.

Whether Abadi will be any different in practice than Maliki was is another matter entirely. Both are members of the same political movement with roughly analogous backstories, and the primary difference is that Maliki has fallen out of favor both domestically and internationally after eight years of failures, while Abadi is, at the very least, a fresh face.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.