Iraqi PM Maliki orders troops to guard Baghdad amid 'coup' talk

Agencies Updated : 11.08.2014 03:03:00 Published : 11.08.2014 02:42:04
Iraqi PM Maliki orders troops to guard Baghdad amid ‘coup’ talkBAGHDAD – Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki indicated that he will not drop his bid for a third term and accused the president of violating the constitution in a tough televised speech likely to deepen political tensions as insurgency rages.

Special forces loyal to Maliki were deployed on Sunday night in strategic areas of Baghdad, police said.

Several police sources also said the forces had taken up positions at key entrances to the sprawling capital.

Maliki, seen as an authoritarian and sectarian leader, has defied calls by Sunnis, Kurds, some fellow Shi’ites and regional power broker Iran to step aside for a less polarising figure who can unite Iraqis against ISIS militants.

Something is happening in Baghdad

Iraq Special Forces of Maliki Deployed In Baghdad; Political Crisis Unfolding
BAGHDAD, Aug 11 (Reuters) - Special forces loyal to Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki were deployed on Sunday night in strategic areas of Baghdad, police said, after he gave a tough speech on television indicating he would not cave in to pressure to drop his bid for a third term.

Several police sources also said the forces had taken up positions at key entrances to the sprawling capital. (Reporting by Ahmed Rasheed; Writing by Michael Georgy; Editing by Sandra Maler)

CNN: Breaking: Iraqi tanks take positions in several Baghdad neighborhoods surrounding Green Zone, police officials tell CNN

U.S. Official Gives Iraqi President Masoum Full Support
A senior U.S. official with the State Department expressed his support for Iraqi President Fouad Masoum following Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki’s Sunday evening speech where he accused Masoum of violating the constitution.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A senior U.S. official for Iraq said on Sunday he fully supported Iraqi President Fouad Masoum after Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, who the United States has blamed for stoking Iraq’s security crisis, accused Masoum of violating the constitution.
“Fully support President of Iraq Fouad Masoum as guarantor of the Constitution and a (prime minister) nominee who can build a national consensus,” Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Brett McGurk said on his Twitter feed.
In a tough televised speech likely to deepen political tensions as a Sunni insurgency rages, Maliki indicated that he will not drop his bid for a third term and accused the president of violating the constitution.

Maliki: Fuad Masum, will be tried on charges of conspiring against the Constitution…

not good

(CNN) – Iraqi troops, security forces and tanks surged into Baghdad on Sunday as political turmoil deepened over who should lead the country.

Military tanks were deployed to several neighborhoods in central Baghdad, two Iraqi police officials told CNN. The officials said there are also significantly more troops in Baghdad’s Green Zone, the secure area where many government buildings, the military headquarters and the U.S. Embassy are located.

The stepped-up troop presence comes as Iraqi forces battled Islamist militants in northern Iraq, and Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki accused Iraq’s newly elected President of violating the country’s constitution by extending the deadline for Iraq’s biggest political coalitions to nominate a candidate for prime minister.

In a Twitter post Sunday, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Brett McGurk said the United States supported Iraq’s President.

“Fully support President of #Iraq Fuad Masum as guarantor of the Constitution and a PM nominee who can build a national consensus,” he wrote.

U.S. officials who put their faith in al-Maliki for years may have misjudged him, Francona said.

“Most people thought that there would be this peaceful transition to the new government. He served for two terms,” Francona said. “Now he’s refusing to step down. … This looks very bad, like he’s going to refuse to go.”

By Rich Lowry:

There are reports that Maliki may be staging a self-coup in Iraq. If so, obviously, it is very bad news. If it doesn’t work, he may well end up dead. If it does, we could be looking at a full-scale civil war, which would only benefit ISIS.

More from Lowry: Fwiw, was just talking to someone who follows Iraq closely who tends to think the coup is happening, although obviously its all murky…

**Iraqi prime minister to file complaint against new president **

BAGHDAD - Iraq’s embattled Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, in a surprise speech late Sunday, resisted calls for his resignation and accused the country’s new president of violating the constitution, plunging the government into a political crisis at a time it is battling advances by Islamic State militants.

Al-Maliki is seeking a third-term as prime minister, but the latest crisis has prompted even his closest allies to call for his resignation. A parliament session scheduled for Monday to discuss the election and who might lead the next Iraqi government was postponed until Aug. 19.

On Sunday night, in a nationally televised speech, al-Maliki declared he will file a legal complaint against the new president, Fouad Massoum, for committing “a clear constitutional violation.”

Al-Maliki, whose Shiite-dominated bloc won the most seats in April elections, accused Massoum of neglecting to name a prime minister from the country’s largest parliamentary faction by Sunday’s deadline. He said the president has violated the constitution “for the sake of political goals.”

Al-Maliki, speaking on Iraqi TV for the first time since U.S. forces launched airstrikes and humanitarian airdrops in Iraq last week, said the security situation will only worsen as a result of Massoum’s actions.

“This attitude represents a coup on the constitution and the political process in a country that is governed by a democratic and federal system,” al-Maliki said. "The deliberate violation of the constitution by the president will have grave consequences on the unity, the sovereignty, and the independence of Iraq and the entry of the political process into a dark tunnel…

What a mess. It was the height of hubris to think one could impose democracy on ancient tribal cultures. Each ethno-religious group is only loyal to their own kind.The Shiite dominated central govt. never gave the weapons to the Kurds the U.S. supplied them. Iraq is an artificial entity created by the European colonial powers. It could only be held together by a brutal dictator much like Yugoslavia. Pres. Obama is continuing this foolishness by insisting on a unified Iraq.

Recent tweets from Haider Al-Abadi, 1st Deputy of CoR, MP since 2006, ex-Chairman of Finance Committee; Iraq

Deadline for nomination of PM candidate has been extended till 3pm Monday which gives more time to submit the name…

Iraqi National Alliance is very close to agree the candidate, I hope.

The security situation in Baghdad is very quite and there are movements of forces across the capital in anticipation of security breaches

A good summary of what we know and don’t know right now

This is getting complicated. It could deteriorate pretty quickly.
I bet maliki is scared.

Iraq president asks Abadi to form new government

Iraq’s president has asked Deputy Parliament Speaker Haider al-Abadi to form a new government, officials say.

Mr Abadi has been nominated as prime minister by Shia parties, instead of the incumbent Nouri Maliki.

But Mr Maliki has made it clear he wants to stand for a third term, and earlier said he intends to take the president to court.

Iraqi president names Haider al-Abadi new prime minister, defying Maliki

BAGHDAD — Iraq’s president named prominent Shiite politician Haider al-Abadi as the country’s new prime minister Monday, defying a show of force by incumbent Nouri al-Maliki, who sought to cling to power in the face of mounting opposition from domestic opponents and the Obama administration.

President Fouad Massoum, who took office last month, appointed Abadi, the deputy speaker of parliament, after members of the legislature’s Shiite alliance promoted him for the job.

With pressure building to resolve the crisis, the deadline for choosing the prime minister had been extended to 3 p.m. Monday, Abadi said on Twitter in the morning.

Earlier, the United States warned Maliki on Monday that he risked further destabilizing Iraq and jeopardizing international support by clinging to power.

Secretary of State John F. Kerry made it clear that Maliki, who became prime minister in 2006 with U.S. backing, has lost Washington’s support.

“We believe that the vast majority of Iraqis are united in an effort to be able to have this peaceful transition” to a new government, Kerry said shortly after arriving in Australia for annual security and diplomatic talks. “We believe that the government formation process is critical in terms of sustaining stability and calm in Iraq, and our hope is Mr. Maliki will not stir those waters.”

A little more

In a televised address Fouad Massoum gave Haider al-Ibadi 30 days to form a new government and present it to parliament for approval, expressing his hope he would succeed.

Al-Ibadi, who pledged to form a government to “protect the Iraqi people,” was nominated for the post by the Iraqi National Alliance, a coalition of Shiite parties that al-Maliki’s State of Law is part of, but has turned against him.

Al-Maliki’s Shiite-dominated bloc won the most parliament seats in April elections and the prime minister sees himself as rightfully keeping the post. In a midnight speech, al-Maliki said he was filing a suit against the president for neglecting to name him prime minister by Sunday’s deadline and all but demanded he be renominated.

Critics say al-Maliki, a Shiite, contributed to the crisis by monopolizing power and pursuing a sectarian agenda that alienated the country’s Sunni and Kurdish minorities.

Al-Ibadi’s nomination came hours after al-Maliki deployed his elite security forces in the streets of Baghdad, partially closed two main streets — popular spots for pro and anti-government rallies — as hundreds of his supporters took to the streets.

“We are with you, al-Maliki,” they shouted, waving posters of the incumbent premier, singing and dancing.

Mohammed al-Ogeili, a lawmaker from al-Maliki’s list, rejected the nomination of al-Ibadi arguing that this move “runs against the constitution” because al-Maliki’s party is the largest bloc and the National Alliance has no right to present any candidate.

“This decision would lead the country to a big problem and the president bears full responsibility for this situation,” he told The Associated Press.

We will see if Maliki pushes his case with the courts. That does seem likely.

UN Rep chimes in: Special Representative of the Secretary General for Iraq and Head of UN Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI) Former Foreign and Defence Minister of Bulgaria

“President has acted in line with Constitution. All groups in Parliament should cooperate to swiftly form an inclusive government”

US supports him: Top US envoy hails Abadi as Iraq PM nominee

Just in: Maliki to speak shortly, will not back down. Will announce further legal action.

Not sure how far this can go, Maliki has lost the support of his political block. He has only 45 MPs behind him out of 95 of his coalition.

Hearing Iran (and the Marjaiya) was behind his fall and the election of Haydar al-Abaydi. If that is true, and with the US behind the election. Maliki may indeed be a done.

Readout of the Vice President’s Call with Iraqi President Fuad Masum

Vice President Biden called Iraqi President Fuad Masum this morning to discuss the ongoing government formation process in Baghdad and to express the United States’ full support for his role as guarantor of the Iraqi Constitution. President Masum discussed with the Vice President the nomination of Hayder al-Abadi to be the next prime minister. The Vice President commended Masum for meeting this key milestone and reiterated President Obama’s repeated calls for the timely creation of a new, more inclusive government that will be able to address the legitimate concerns of all Iraqis. Vice President Biden also emphasized President Obama’s desire to boost coordination with a new Iraqi government and Iraqi Security Forces to roll back gains by the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant. President Masum thanked the Vice President for his continued support.

Readout of the Vice President’s Call with Iraqi Prime Minister-designate Haider al-Abadi

Vice President Joe Biden called Iraqi Prime Minister-designate Haider al-Abadi to congratulate him on his nomination to form a new government and develop a national program pursuant to Iraq’s constitutional process. The Prime Minister-designate expressed his intent to move expeditiously to form a broad-based, inclusive government capable of countering the threat of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, and building a better future for Iraqis from all communities. The Vice President relayed President Obama’s congratulations and restated his commitment to fully support a new and inclusive Iraqi government, particularly in its fight against ISIL. The two leaders also discussed practical steps towards fully activating the bilateral Strategic Framework Agreement in all of its fields, including economic, diplomatic, and security cooperation. Prime Minister-designate Abadi thanked Vice President Biden for the call, and they agreed to stay in regular communication as the government formation process proceeds.

New York, 11 August 2014 - Statement attributable to the Spokesman for the Secretary-General on the political situation in Iraq

The Secretary-General welcomes the forward movement toward government formation in Iraq. He also commends Iraqi President Fuad Massoum for having charged Dr. Haider al-Abbadi, in accordance with the the Iraqi Constitution, with the formation of a new government. He encourages Dr. al-Abbadi, Prime Minister-designate, to form a broad-based government acceptable to all components of Iraqi society, in accordance with the constitutional time-frame.

The Secretary-General is concerned that heightened political tensions coupled with the current security threat of “Islamic State” (IS) could lead the country into even deeper crisis. He strongly urges all political parties and their supporters to remain calm and respect the political process governed by the Constitution. The people of Iraq deserve to live in a safe, prosperous and stable country – one that all groups in Iraq, including religious and ethnic minorities, can meaningfully contribute to and feel as their own.

A phone call from joe biden?!

That would make my day - :smiley:

Oh that’s right. He is filling in while Obama is on vacation.
Don’t like the thought of Biden being in charge!

Iran played a significant role in removing Al-Mlaiki who accused Iran of conspiracy against him.

So the new president is supported by iran?
Is that sunni? Is Iraq right now sunni vs. shiite?
ISIS is sunni also right?

At 4:45pm ET, President Obama will deliver a statement on the latest political developments in Iraq.

New PM designate is Shia
The President is Sunni

This is by intent and in their constitution

Is Iraq right now sunni vs. shiite?

Iraq will be sunni vs Shiite in at least politics for a long time

ISIS is sunni also right?

ISIS is a very militant form of Sunni. Like Hamas is a very militant form of Shia

How do you keep all this straight?

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