Maliki Resists Growing Calls to Step Down as Iraqi PM

Maliki Aides Say Iraq Can't Afford a Change Now

Everybody from the US to the Kurds to the Sunni insurgency, and even Shi’ite religious leader Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani agree that Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki needs to step down for there to be any sort of serious attempt to salvage Iraq as a plural society.

Everybody is on board, except for Maliki himself, and he and what political allies he has left are looking to make a fight of it, with longtime aide Sami Askari insisting the current turmoil should ensure Maliki’s continued survival and that “Iraq cannot afford a leadership change now.”

How he hopes to sustain power is unclear though, as even his own State of Law Party is reportedly having conversations with other factions about joining a new coalition government without Maliki in the top spot.

Perhaps the only thing working in Maliki’s favor at this point is how few really high-profile possible replacements there are, with the choices so few that even the notorious Ahmed Chalabi, the architect of the disastrous US occupation, is considered among the front-runners.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for 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.