Iraqi State of Law Taps Maliki as New PM Candidate

Controversial ex-leader seems destined to return to post

All but inevitable since the resignation of Moqtada al-Sadr’s coalition from parliament, the State of Law has announced its own candidate for Iraqi PM. As expected, it is Nouri al-Maliki.

Holding the position from 2006 to 2014, Maliki is the longest-seated premier of the US occupation of Iraq. A former Dawa Party figure popular with Iran, Maliki was a controversial leader throughout his last tenure.

Navigating through constant political division, Maliki was positioned as a compromise candidate protecting a status quo which, by 2014, fewer and fewer voters were looking to defend anymore.

Sadr was deeply critical of Maliki’s history of corruption, to the point that suggestions of a coalition including State of Law led Sadr to call on everyone to resign outright.

It’s not clear any alternative candidates could yet emerge for premier, and Maliki has long wanted that job back. The narrative of his government against Sadr-led protesters is pretty straightforward.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of