AllawiA former prime minister of Iraq, Dr. Ayad Allawi, has issued a stern warning to the incumbent prime minister Nouri al-Maliki, saying that no one will rule Iraq forever and suggesting Maliki’s insistence to hold the position would seriously harm Iraq’s fragile democracy.

Since losing the March parliamentary elections in Iraq, Maliki has refused to acknowledge growing calls for him to step down. Mr. Allawi’s al-Iraqiya list won the majority of seats in parliament and is legally tasked with forming the new government.

 

“In the event that al-Iraqiya’s rights are trampled upon, democracy would be history in Iraq,” Allawi warned.

“Depriving us of our legitimate right [to form a government] under any pretext … is to declare hostility towards Iraqi democracy.”

In an interview with the London-based Arabic daily Asharq al-Awsat on Sunday, Dr. Allawi condemned “plots and accusations” against the Iraqiya list, saying that calling the coalition “Baathist” or “Sunni” is part of a misinformation campaign.

“If Maliki insists on holding onto power, I think the country would move into chaos and perhaps we will face an undemocratic backlash.”

The parties tied to Maliki and Ammar Hakim should shelve talks about a coalition, Dr. Allawi said, because the creation of a new government has been delayed for more than six months. “Like any dictatorship, all these developments signal the monopolization of rights in Iraq,” he added.

Allawi also insisted on al-Iraqiya’s right to form the next government as the winning coalition and said foreign powers will not succeed in imposing their will on Iraqis, in a veiled reference to the Iranian regime.