Widespread dissatisfaction in Iraq dims al-Maliki’s chances of holding premiership

Growing protests by the people of Iraq against the chaotic status quo are being interpreted as a sign of the entrenched dissatisfaction in society against Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, which could pave the way for the formation of a new government.

A new government has not yet been formed even as five months have passed since parliamentary elections in March, which led to the defeat of incumbent al-Maliki and the victory of the al-Iraqiya list headed by Dr. Iyad Allawi.

Recently, hundreds of people took to the streets in the city of Karbala to protest the al-Maliki government and inadequate electricity, while women staged a protest gathering in Baghdad and a number of people held demonstrations in the capital’s Kamaliya district to denounce a week-long water shortage, according to al-Baghdadiya TV.

Also on Tuesday, al-Sharqiya TV reported that the al-Iraqiya list has officially blamed the al-Maliki government for the lack of security and killing of innocent people and members of the list.

In a statement, the coalition said Iraqi civilians are being targeted simultaneous with attempts on the lives of a number of the coalition’s members.

The TV station also reported that General Steve Lanza, the US military spokesman in Iraq, has expressed concerns over the Iranian regime’s support of armed militias in Iraq and their continued attacks even as US forces complete their initial withdrawal from the country. He said it is probable that political factions will agree on a new government at the end of the holy month of Ramadan which started this week.

The Iraqi Vice President has also weighed in on the Iranian regime’s meddling in Iraq, saying that it is obstructing a possible agreement between al-Iraqiya and the Ammar Hakim coalition.

In an interview with al-Hurra on Tuesday, Tariq al-Hashemi said it is improbable that al-Iraqiya will agree to a second term for Maliki because he ignored his promises “less than a week after he took power in 2006.” He also questioned the support by the Iraqi President, Jalal Talebani, for Maliki, saying that the latter’s unilateral decisions have harmed Talebani as well.

In recent weeks, other fractions have expressed clearer support for al-Iraqiya, according to al-Sharqiya TV.


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