iraqi PM al-maliki: ‘i will win a third term’
niqash | Daoud al-Ali | Baghdad | 04.04.2013
Speaking in Baghdad, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is overwhelmingly confident about this month’s provincial elections. He says he will win by forging new political alliances.
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki plans to remain in power for another term; sources close to the Iraqi leader, who has been criticized for undemocratic behavior, say he’s ready to reap the fruits of his political maneuvering. This includes his forging several unlikely alliances.
On the not-so-surprising list were the likes of one of Iraq’s two deputy Presidents, Khudayr al-Khuzai, a former member of al-Maliki’s own party who had previously left the party as well as Hadi al-Amiri, the leader of the Badr Organization, formerly part of Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq. The latter two men are Shiite Muslims, just like al-Maliki.
More surprising inclusions are Saleh al-Mutlaq, one of the country’s three deputy Prime Ministers and Jamal al- Karbouli, head of the National Movement for Reform and Development, or Al Hal, party. Both of the latter are members of the Iraqiya opposition bloc and Sunni Muslims.
At an event held pre-Iraq’s provincial elections attended by NIQASH, al-Maliki was confident. "Our party will have the best and most efficient presence during upcoming provincial elections,” he boasted. “"There have been challenges but we have been able to face them because of our partners in the political process. It would have been very different if we hadn’t been able to maintain our coalition’s unity,” he added, somewhat ingenuously. “I will win a political majority in the provincial elections,” he concluded.
Al-Maliki is able to speak with such confidence because, despite all the pressures exerted upon him, he has not yet been defeated by his political enemies nor removed from office. And he seems sure to run for a third term – despite the fact that earlier in 2013, other MPs voted fora law that would restrict any Iraqi PM from more than two terms. The law still needs to be ratified and the next Parliamentary elections in Iraq are to be held in early 2014.
“Now we must work hard to face down those who are hostile to us,” Badr Organization head, al-Amiri, said. “These people are pressuring the Iraqi people not to participate in these elections. But our responsibility is to convince them otherwise.”
Observers say that al-Maliki is planning a new political chapter for the country. Judging by the allies he is choosing – or being forced to choose – he seems to be planning to rule by political majority rather than by using sectarian alliances or a quota system.
“Al-Maliki has more or less confirmed that he is going to run for a third term,” Ahmed Salim Hussein, a professor of political science, told NIQASH. “After this, traditional political alliances upon which the current government is based won’t exist. The way in which al-Maliki is marketing his bloc and his allies confirms that there will be new alliances made in Iraq.”
Whether al-Maliki succeeds or fails with this new plan remains to be seen. A major political party like the Sadrist movement still has the potential to stop the current PM from his goal of ruling the country for a third term.