Rivals Slam Maliki’s Centralization Moves in Iraq

Court Ruling Further Strengthens Maliki's Powers

At the same time he was putting the finishing touches on a “grand coalition government” that would allow him a second term as Prime Minister, Iraq’s Nouri al-Maliki was moving forward with supreme court efforts to enhance the power of his position.

It seems that Maliki, who is current the Prime Minister, Defense Minister, Security Affairs Minister and Interior Minister, was keen to centralize even more power under his control, and the supreme court was only too happy to oblige. The new rulings give him virtual control over the Central Bank, the Independent Higher Electoral Commission, the human rights commission and the corruption watchdog.

The ruling has raised new concerns amongst his rivals and analysts that Maliki’s ambitions to turn Iraq into a virtual autocracy, which seemingly failed when his party lost the March election, have ended up moving forward anyhow.

Maliki adviser Ali al-Moussawi chastized the critics, saying they were trying to cast the government in a bad light and to help the insurgency, which continues to launch attacks across the nation.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.