Maliki: My "national and moral responsibility" to stay in power
Iraq's Prime Minister reiterated his staunch determination to remain in power for a third term Friday despite growing pressures to resign, according to Agence France Presse.
PM Nouri Al Maliki released a statement Friday that read, "I will never give up on my candidacy for the post of prime minister. The State of Law coalition is the biggest bloc and has the right to the premiership and any other side has no right to put conditions, because putting conditions means dictatorship and we strongly reject this."
While Maliki did indeed win Iraq's parliamentary elections in April by a long shot with his State of Law coalition party winning the most seats when compared to other blocs, the PM has been increasingly criticized by opposition-as well as his Shiite Arab allies-for instigating a sectarian war in the country.
Over the past month, Sunni Islamist militants, led in part by the jihadist Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS), have seized territory from at least five of Iraq's provinces and now also control the Syrian-Iraqi border crossings.
Maliki's opponents say that the PM is to blame for this recent offensive for marginalizing the Sunni Arab minority during his time in office.
Maliki, who once pledged to not run for a third term, now emphasizes that he will stay in his position of power out of "national and moral responsibility" until the crisis is solved.
"The withdrawal from the battlefield in the face of terrorist organizations that are enemies of Islam and of humanity, would be an abrogation of legitimate national and moral responsibility. I have made a promise to God that I will continue to fight by the side of the armed forces and volunteers until the final defeat of the enemies of Iraq," he said.