SLC: Maliki's re-election pledge not linked to Arab uprisings
Sunday, February 6th 2011 3:48 PM
Baghdad, Feb. 6 (AKnews) – A deputy from the State of Law Coalition (SLC) led by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said on Sunday that the latter’s recent declaration of not standing for a third term in office was due to his desire to preserve the sustainability of democracy in the country, and not related to the ongoing popular uprisings in neighboring Arab states.
Abdul Hadi al-Hassani told AKnews that Maliki’s decision was to show his support for democracy in the country, adding that his position could change if the Iraqi public so wished.
“The stance of the leader could change if the Iraqi people demanded him to take the presidency of the government for a third term,” he said.
Maliki was elected to form the first permanent Iraqi government after heading a national consensus.
The second nomination came amid much controversy and followed a nine-month political impasse during which Maliki’s right to form a government was strongly contested.
In early June, Iraq’s Federal Supreme Court certified the results of the country’s parliamentary elections which were held on March 7.
Al-Iraqiya, led by former Prime Minister Ayad Allawi came first in the March elections by securing 91 seats. The State of Law Coalition (SLC) led by the then outgoing PM Nouri al-Maliki ended up second with 89 seats
Each of the two parties claimed it had the right to lead the future cabinet.
In late March, Iraq’s Federal Supreme Court ruled that the bloc that has the highest number of seats when parliament convenes will be entitled to form a government and not the party that won the highest number of seats in the election.
The court’s decision meant al-Iraqiya was not automatically entitled to form the next government. This decision paved the way for larger coalitions and political maneuvering by the different blocs.
Following the announcement of the inconclusive electoral results, the INA and the State of Law Coalition (SLC), both Shia-dominated lists, merged in May to form the National Coalition (NC) in a bid to gain the parliamentary majority necessary to form the next government.
Al-Iraqiya described the super-bloc’s claim on the country’s leadership as unconstitutional on the grounds that they were not listed as a political entity before the elections took place.
Despite nine months of intense negotiations between the blocs, Maliki was finally sworn in for a second term in office in December last year and his cabinet of ministers received parliament’s vote of confidence on January 21.
Reported by Raman Brosk