With the passing of a death sentence on vice-president Tariq al-Hashemi at the weekend, many fear that Iraq is too much under the control of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, and that his grip on power is becoming ever stronger.
As an editorial in the Guardian put it on Monday, "Maliki's authoritarianism has some way to go before it reaches the proportions of Saddam Hussein's terror. But the charge sheet is growing".
But not so long ago, the talk was of Maliki resigning before his term of office was completed; however this plays out, whether Maliki stays or goes could be the single most important determining factor in the future direction of the country.
Has Maliki really become unreasonably powerful, or is he simply doing what has to be done to maintain order and the rule of law in the face of violence?
And what would be the impact on business and economic development of a more powerful Maliki?
Please give us your opinions in the comments section below.