Most of Iraq’s Sunnis and Kurds demand Nouri al-Maliki leave office but he shows no sign of quitting as UN envoy warns that the country will descend into “chaos” unless Iraqi politicians move forward on forming a government, according to the Reuters.
Prominent Sunni Arab lawmaker Dhafer al-Ani said this week that "partition of Iraq will be the natural result" if the Shiite bloc could not put forward another candidate other than Maliki.
"If they insist on Maliki as the prime minister, then we will withdraw from the government," he said.
"I believe that it would be hard for any Sunni politician to raise his hand and vote for Maliki as prime minister for a third term.
The national parliament elected in April met for the first time on July 1 but failed to agree on nominations for the top three government posts.
The next session will be held on Sunday.
The UN special envoy to Iraq, Nickolay Mladenov, said on Saturday the country could plunge into chaos if parliament fails to move forward on a government in Sunday session.
Lack of progress on choosing the top three government posts - president, prime minister, and speaker - "will only serve the interests of those who seek to divide the people of Iraq and destroy their chances for peace and prosperity," he said in a statement.
He also urged lawmakers to turn up, after fewer than a third attended the first session when Sunnis and Kurds walked out after Shiites failed to nominate a premier to replace Maliki.
"The head of the Kurdish Gorran bloc, Aram Sheikh Mohammed, has said Kurdish factions would attend Sunday’s session, but the prospects of progress were poor."If Maliki nominates himself, I think neither the Sunnis nor Kurds will nominate their candidates (for speaker and president)," he said.
Under a system created after the removal of Saddam Hussein in 2003, the prime minister has always been a member of the Shiite majority, the speaker of parliament a Sunni and, with one exception, the occupant of the largely ceremonial presidency has been a Kurd.