News / Middle East

Outgoing Iraqi PM Asked to Form New Government

Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, center right, and Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, center left, are seen during a ceremony of asking al-Maliki to form the next government in Baghdad, 25 Nov 2010
Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, center right, and Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, center left, are seen during a ceremony of asking al-Maliki to form the next government in Baghdad, 25 Nov 2010

Iraqi President Jalal Talabani formally nominated outgoing Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki Thursday to form the next government. The nod was widely expected and Maliki will now be tasked with bringing together both foe and friend in his new administration. The move had been agreed upon in a deal between rival political parties two weeks ago.

Maliki's nomination comes just over eight and a half months after a parliamentary election in which he won two fewer seats than his rival, former prime minister Iyad Allawi. The conflict between the two men over who would form the next government fueled what turned into a lengthy power vacuum.

President Talabani, who was himself elected by parliament recently to a second term, urged Mr. Maliki to reach out to all segments of the political spectrum in forming his new government.

He said he is confident that [Maliki] will reach out to all sectors of the nation, stressing that he will select someone from [Mr. Allawi's rival] Iraqiya bloc to be his deputy, and that no political forces will be excluded from the government. The constitution, he added, will be respected and parliament will play its role as the head of the legislative branch.

Maliki will formally have 30 days to put together his new government, although some observers think an agreement has already been reached over a number of key ministerial posts.

Challenges ahead

In accepting the nod, Maliki pointed out that the task facing him would not be simple.

He said that he and everyone else understands that the task which has been given to him is not a simple one, under the current circumstances. He insisted that he cannot accomplish the job alone and that everyone must work together to overcome the current critical situation. He also appealed to the Iraqi people, across the political and religious spectrum, to surmount their differences and conflicts and to cooperate.

The prime minister also vowed to improve the lot of the Iraqi people through better government services.

He insisted that government ministers and other political forces must work alongside him responsibly in the next session [of parliament] to reinforce security, to help rebuild the country and to restore services. He said that the previous government has concentrated on projects in the areas of electricity, oil, health services and education and that the coming years will see these projects come to fruition and will help improve the well-being of the Iraqi people.

The Iraqi press and opposition satellite channels have complained in recent months that parliament has sat idle, refusing to meet, while the country "disintegrated." Several newspapers even urged members of parliament to "give back their salaries" because they had done no work.

Iraq analyst Peter Harling of the Crisis Group in Damascus points out that Maliki, who now has 30 days to put together his cabinet, could still face a number of problems.

"We could look at possible stumbling blocks in terms of to what extent Maliki is willing to actually implement some of the commitments he made to redistributing effective power to others within the government."

Harling says Maliki has long come under fire from members of the opposition over concentrating power in the hands of his allies. The rival Aqiya bloc recently agreed to a power-sharing deal, but it remains unclear how this will work concretely.

NEW: Follow our Middle East stories on Twitter
and discuss them on our Facebook page.

You May Like

Hostage Crisis Could Divide Japan Over Plans to Boost Military

Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said Monday the government is working closely with the Jordanian government to secure the release of remaining Japanese hostage Kenji Goto More

Video Brussels Shaken as New Greek Leader Challenges Europe’s Austerity Drive

Country's youngest ever PM Alexis Tsipras, 40, sworn in Monday and says he will restore dignity to Greece by ending spending cuts More

Multimedia National Geographic Photo Camps Empower Youth

Annual mentoring program's mission is to give young people a voice to tell their own stories through photography More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visiti
X
Aru Pande
January 26, 2015 9:33 PM
U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visit

U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video US, EU Threaten New Russia Sanctions Over Ukraine

U.S. President Barack Obama has blamed Russia for an attack by Ukrainian separatists that left dozens dead in the port of Mariupol and cast further doubt on the viability of last year’s cease-fire with the Kyiv government. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington.
Video

Video White House Grapples With Yemen Counterterrorism Strategy

Reports say the U.S. has carried out a drone strike on suspected militants in Yemen, the first after President Barack Obama offered reassurances the U.S. is continuing its counterterrorism operations in the country. The future of those operations has been in question following the collapse last week of Yemen’s government. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Kerry Warns Against Violence in Nigeria Election

US Secretary of State John Kerry visited Nigeria Sunday in a show of the level of concern within the U.S. and the international community over next month’s presidential election. Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sides

The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Saudi, Yemen Developments Are Sudden Complications for Obama

The death of Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah and the collapse of Yemen’s government have cast further uncertainty on U.S. efforts to fight militants in the Middle East and also contain Iran’s influence in the region. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports on the new complications facing the Obama administration and its Middle East policy.
Video

Video Progress, Some Areas of Disagreement in Cuba Talks

U.S. and Cuban officials are reporting progress from initial talks in Havana on re-establishing diplomatic ties. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State (for Western Hemisphere Affairs) Roberta Jacobson said while there was agreement on a broad range of issues, there also are some “profound disagreements” between Washington and Havana. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins has the story.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid