With the word coup whirling around the airwaves in my ears today, NPR is confirming that President Fouad Massoum, a Kurd, officially asked Haider al-Abadi to form a new Iraqi government this morning.
Iraq’s National Alliance bloc, which includes Iraq’s biggest Shia parties, nominated the deputy speaker of parliament for the position.
Sec. Kerry has warned Iraqi PM Nuri al-Maliki not to cause trouble as Washington supports President Fuad Masum and the constitution.
In a tense night in Baghdad, many reports circulated that militia loyal to al-Maliki had fanned out across Baghdad and closed the Green Zone, but apparently all has been quiet.
Earlier there were conflicting reports that Iraq's Supreme Court was supporting al-Maliki, but Iraq’s supreme court has corrected a state TV report claiming it backed Nouri al-Maliki as prime minister. http://www.theguardian.com/...
Iraq’s new prime minister has called on Iraqis to unite against the “barbaric” campaign waged by Islamic State militants.
“We all have to cooperate to stand against this terrorist campaign launched on Iraq and to stop all terrorist groups,” Haider al-Abadi said in remarks broadcast on state television just after the president asked him to form a government.
As there are conflicting diaries on the rec. list, I wanted to get this info out and I'll ad more in a while, have to run out for a few.
The question remains, will al-Maliki step down peacefully, a press conference that's coming up in Baghdad may answer that?
7:19 AM PT: Now WAPO has the story:
BAGHDAD — Iraq’s president named prominent Shiite politician Haider al-Abadi as the country’s new prime minister Monday, dislodging incumbent Nouri al-Maliki after eight years in office despite a show of force as he clung to power.h/t annieli
President Fouad Massoum called on Abadi, a member of Maliki’s ruling party and currently the deputy speaker of parliament, to form a new government.
Maliki has been standing his ground despite mounting pressure from domestic opponents and the Obama administration for him to step aside. He has been widely blamed for the growth of an insurgency by Sunni Muslim extremists that has ravaged the country.
“Now the Iraqi people are in your hands,” Massoum said as he shook hands with Abadi in a ceremony in Baghdad after Shiite politicians named him as their candidate. Massoum took office last month.
Earlier Monday, the United States warned Maliki that he risked further destabilizing Iraq and jeopardizing international support by clinging to power. http://www.washingtonpost.com/...
Dr Haider Al-Abadi (Arabic: حيدر العبادي) is an Iraqi politician and spokesman for the Islamic Dawa Party. He was appointed Prime Minister of Iraq on 11 August 2014 by President Fuad Masum, even while incumbent Nouri al-Maliki seemed to cling to power.
Al-Abadi was appointed Minister of Communications in the Iraqi Governing Council on 1 September 2003. A Shia Muslim and electronic consultant engineer by training with a PhD degree from the University of Manchester, United Kingdom, in 1980, and a BSc degree from the University of Baghdad in electrical engineering in 1975. Al-Abadi lived in exile during the time of Saddam Hussein in London....
In 2003, Al-Abadi became sceptical of the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) privatization plan, proposing to Paul Bremer that they had to wait for a legitimate government to be formed. In October 2003, Al-Abadi with all 25 of the Governing Council interim ministers protested to Paul Bremer and rejected the CPA's demand to privatize the state-owned companies and infrastructure prior to forming a legitimate government. The CPA, led by Bremer, fell out with Al-Abadi and the Governing Council. The CPA worked around the Governing Council, forming a new government that remained beholden to the CPA until general elections had been completed, prompting more aggressive armed resistance by Iraqis against U.S. led coalition personnel
7:52 AM PT: Waiting for a press conference by al-Maliki and this is a good question:
In his efforts to remain in power, Maliki does not appear to have a lifeline to Tehran. In an interview on the Foreign Policy Association blog, Reza Marashi of the National Iranian American Council says that Tehran is willing to toss Maliki by the wayside:
Already so many soldiers, tanks, checkpoints, cops, AK-47s, artillery guns on Baghdad streets, not sure what a coup would even look like!
— Borzou Daragahi (@borzou) August 11, 2014
The problem is less about Maliki and more about sectarianism across the political, religious and ethnic spectrum. Maliki is certainly guilty of this counterproductive approach – but so too are leaders of Iraq’s other religious and ethnic groups. The U.S. (and Iran) have been critical of Maliki on both a tactical and strategic level – both of which center on his overly sectarian governance. This highlights an important aspect of America’s strategy that overlaps with Iran’s: they are less concerned with Maliki or any specific individual in Iraqi politics, and more concerned with protecting their geostrategic position. Neither the U.S. nor Iran is wedded to Maliki, but rather to the current Shia-led power structure in place that ensures its interests in Iraq are achieved. If Maliki proves to be a liability, Washington and Tehran are willing to cut off the head of the snake in order to save the body. Working to unite Iraq’s Shia factions – with our without Maliki at the helm – and then uniting those Shia factions with Sunnis, Kurds and others best ensures that the U.S. and Iran maximize the levers of power at their disposal to secure their interests.
8:47 AM PT: Apparently around 30 State of Law MPs and Maliki just gave a press conference rejecting Abadi's appointment as PM / Vice President Biden called President Massoum extending our support this morning.
9:02 AM PT: Political allies of Nouri al-Maliki dug in their heels with a televised address Monday in which Khalaf Abdul-Samad, a member of Maliki’s Dawa Party, said the nominee to replace Maliki has no legitimacy.
Abdul-Samad said prime minister-nominate Haider al-Abadi “only represents himself”, as a grim-faced Maliki stood beside him, Reuters reported.
Maliki apparently also spoke, reports Iraq analyst Sajad Jiyad – although his words were apparently edited out of broadcasts in Iraq Monday:
Sure hope everyone involved keeps their cool in Iraq.