Iraqi leaders threaten PM with vote of no confidence

Iraqi leaders threaten PM with vote of no confidence

ARBIL - Reuters
Iraqi leaders threaten PM with vote of no confidence

AP Photo

Four of the most senior political leaders in Iraq’s fragile coalition have threatened to bring a vote of no confidence in the government unless “autocratic decision-making” stops, a letter published in a state newspaper on May 5 said.

The four senior lawmakers, Osama al-Nujaifi, Masoud Barzani, Ayad Allawi and Moqtada al-Sadr, sent the letter to Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s bloc on May 3, political sources told Reuters.

Some of al-Maliki’s opponents, including Barzani and Sadr, have accused him of becoming a dictator and several of his critics say he deliberately sidelines Sunnis and Kurds. The letter outlines eight demands to be met by May 13 to ensure the four leaders’ support for al-Maliki’s administration. “In case of a refusal to comply with the principles and frameworks of this agreement, practical steps will be taken, within a period of time not exceeding 15 days, to act upon a vote of no confidence against the government,” the letter says. The letter is dated April 28, the last day of a three-day mini-summit held by the leaders during which they said they tried to find a solution to the political impasse. Maliki did not attend the meeting, which was held in the Kurdish capital Arbil.

The letter called on the government to stop interfering with the security forces and with the work of parliament and contained a paragraph criticizing autocratic decision-making. “Putting an end to any kind of one-man decision-making in the government pyramid and a tendency towards autocracy,” the sixth demand reads. The letter also demanded that a two-term limit for the post of prime minister be retroactively introduced. Al-Maliki is serving his second four-year term as prime minister.

“(This is necessary) in order to ensure a peaceful transfer of power and to establish the foundations and principles of democracy and in order not to allow a climate of dictatorship,” it said. Al-Maliki’s bloc met on April 3 and pledged to hold a meeting of all of the coalition’s political blocs within a week to hammer out a solution to the crisis, Ibrahim al-Jaafari, chairman of the coalition, said in a statement on his website.