Iraq’s new president on Monday snubbed the powerful incumbent Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and nominated the deputy parliament speaker to form the new government, raising fears of more infighting in the government as country faces the threat of Sunni militants in the north.
In a televised address Fouad Massoum gave Haider al-Ibadi, who was selected by a coalition of Shiite political parties, 30 days to form a new government and present it to parliament for approval.
The ceremony came hours after the embattled al-Maliki delivered a surprise speech at midnight accusing the country’s Massoum of blocking his reappointment as prime minister and carrying out “a coup against the constitution and the political process.”
Despite angrily insisting that he should be nominated for a third term, al-Maliki has lost some of his support with the main coalition of Shiite parties turning against him.
- Fawaz Gerges, professor of international relations and Middle East studies at the London School of Economics and Political Science and author of “The New Middle East: Protest and Revolution in the Arab World.”