Is Nouri al-Maliki trying to seize power in Baghdad?

Not sure what to make of this report by the BBC:

In his televised address, Mr Maliki said he intended to take President Masum to court for violating constitutional rules.

Mr Maliki’s coalition won the most seats in April’s elections but parliament has not agreed to give him a third term and President Masum has declined to intervene.

Mr Maliki said Mr Masum had missed a deadline for asking the biggest political bloc to nominate a prime minister.

“This attitude represents a coup on the constitution and the political process in a country that is governed by a democratic and federal system,” Mr Maliki said.

“The deliberate violation of the constitution by the president will have grave consequences on the unity, the sovereignty, and the independence of Iraq and the entry of the political process into a dark tunnel.”

Within an hour, Shia militiamen and security forces loyal to Mr Maliki appeared at key centres in Baghdad. There were no reports of violence.

Lots of uncertainty here; what “key centers”? Is this a coup or a show of force intended to cement Maliki’s hold on the office? Or was Maliki expecting backlash to his speech, and put these men in place to blunt it? Vox is also covering the story.

Short of seizing power by force in some kind of coup, Maliki’s position has become untenable. He’s reportedly lost his political support at home, and neither the US nor Iran likes him in that way anymore. Whatever’s going on definitely bears watching.

Author: DWD

writer, blogger, lover, fighter

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