The rate at which Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is losing allies has slowed, but that’s only because he has so few left. Everybody wants Maliki out, and even his own party has engaged in the talks to pick his replacement.
Maliki was vastly unpopular with Sunnis and Kurds after reneging on a previous power sharing deal, and many Shi’ites now view him as a failure for losing so much of the country to ISIS. Despite this, Maliki continues to insist he’s in the running for PM, and will never step down.
Parliament’s first meeting to replace him collapsed in a matter of minutes, but if there’s one thing that can bring MPs together, it’s replacing Maliki, so much so that outgoing parliament speaker Osama Nujaifi has agreed to step down if it means making it easier to agree on a post-Maliki premier.
Shi’ite religious leader Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani, also pushing for a quick deal to replace Maliki, criticized parliament for the failed meeting this week, dubbing it a “regrettable failure” and reiterating his call for a new unity government.