The demand for regime change articulated by the US and France had its result. On Monday, Iraq President Fuad Masum nominated Haider al-Abadi to replace Nuri al-Maliki, who has been the Prime Minister of Iraq for 8 years.
Newsjax reported that an offended Maliki has threatened to challenge the President Masum's decision in court.
The US re-intervention in Iraq with its airstrikes to save the Northern Iraq fuelled the demand for a capable administration that carries the confidence of all sections of Iraq society. Maliki had become an unpopular leader, already. The failure in handling the ISIS march into northern Iraq made his position all the more precarious.
The crisis began on Sunday with Maliki given the deadline to form a new governing coalition. But Maliki missed the deadline and announced that he would stay on as prime minister.
However, on Monday, Maliki's own party disowned him and voted for a new leader. That is how the former finance minister Haider al-Abadi came into the picture. Abadi can become the next prime minister, if he is able to form a government, within 30 days. At the moment, Abadi has the support of about 128 members in Parliament, but that is still short of the magical figure of 165 for a simple majority.
The politics of Iraq has been moving around various sects. In the April elections, Maliki's State of Law coalition had won a good number of seats, but failed to cobble up a coalition to manage a governing majority. The polity is divided on sectarian lines--Sunnis, Shias, and Kurds. Maliki is from the Shia group, which is numerically strong.
Maliki Calls It Illegal
Defiant Maliki's next moves are being keenly watched. The big question is whether Maliki attempt for a coup? Maliki spoke out against the nomination on and described Abaki's appointment as "null and void."
Maliki has exhorted the army and police to remain calm and not get disturbed over the "constitutional violation". He also claimed that no one has the right to do anything in Iraq, without his permission.
Obama Extends Support
Meanwhile, the US President Obama called up Abadi and pledged all support to him. Obama urged Abadi to form a new cabinet at the earliest so that the US can do more to ramp up the support for Iraq.