Maliki refuses to step down without court ruling
Iraq's incumbent Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has hinted that only a federal court ruling can decide whether he must leave office or not.
Maliki said on Wednesday that his cabinet will continue its work and will not be replaced without the court ruling.
"I confirm that the government will continue and there will not be a replacement for it without a decision from the federal court," Maliki said during his televised weekly address.
The incumbent prime minister also criticized the Iraqi president for appointing deputy parliament speaker, Haider al-Abadi, as prime minister-designate. Iraqi President Fuad Masum has asked al-Abadi to form a government, but Maliki insists to be nominated for a third term.
Maliki reiterated that the appointment has no value and violates the constitution.
The developments come as Iraq is in political turmoil over who will form the next government.
On Tuesday, al-Abadi said on his Facebook page that al-Maliki “will remain [as] a fundamental partner in the Iraqi political process.” Al-Abadi was picked by Iraq’s bloc of Shia parties, the National Alliance.
However, Maliki’s Dawa Party has rejected the nomination. It says the State of Law Coalition holds the majority of seats in parliament and only accepts Maliki as the nominee for the PM post.
Under a de facto agreement among communities in Iraq, the prime minister is a Shia Arab, the president a Kurd, and the parliament speaker a Sunni Arab.
Meanwhile, Iraq’s top Shia cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani has stressed the need for national unity to confront the prevailing militancy in the country.