Is Maliki Making a Comeback?

By Ali Mamouri for Al-Monitor. Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

While serving his second term as prime minister in February 2011, former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki told AFP he did not aspire to serve a third term.

He averred that “the premier who has a program, and is efficient, does not need more than eight years to effectively implement it. If this is not the case, why, then, give him more than eight years?”

Contrary to what he said, Maliki was clinging to an extension by the end of his second term in September 2014 and only gave up after his supporters abandoned him.

During his rule, Maliki’s policy was characterized by its sectarian and divisive tone and was a key reason behind the recent military defeats in Mosul and Ramadi. Now Maliki is urging people to back away from the national reconciliation policy initiated by Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi when he took office.

Proof of this is that during a tribal gathering June 13 in Karbala, Maliki said that the Anbar province’s tribes were protesting against him. He accused the rival political parties of supporting the objections against his rule when he was prime minister, which he called illegal.

Finally, he described the fall of the Sunni areas at the hands of the Islamic State (IS) as “a Sunni sectarian revolution against the Shiites.”

In his speech, Maliki used three forms of extremist thought to incite to sectarian conflict. First: regional division, by generalizing and accusing the tribes of a particular area of being all against the Iraqi government. Second: deepening the political dispute by accusing his rivals of standing with the terrorists. Third: describing the dispute in Iraq as religious and sectarian.

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