It is safe to say Nouri al-Maliki’s days are numbered as the Prime-minister of Iraq. Following his fractious style of ruling and his inability to stem the march of ISIS towards Bagdad, his removal was inevitable.
Al-Maliki, Shiite and living in exile from Saddam Hussein returned to be appointed prime minister in 2006 due to a compromise between minority Sunni Arabs, Kurds and majority Shiites – as a side note, two of his brothers were executed during Saddam’s regime.
But after he was re-appointed as prime minister in 2010, he ditched his consensus – building strategy and started concentrating power amongst his Shiite power base. This alienated other ethnic groups. Most damning was his inseparable dependence on regional Shiite powerhouse – Iran. This further enraged the Sunni’s who felt that he was living up to their fears of permanently marginalizing them from the region.
What is most worrying is his (al-Maliki’s) metamorphosis into Saddam 2.0. Already, scores of Sunni opposition members have been sentenced to death – mostly in absentia; often being accused of masterminding attacks on government and security officials. Also, reminiscent of the past, his son Ahmed is head of his security, his sons-in-law are prominent members in his office, playing key roles in policy making and local politics. Mismanagement of Iraq’s vast oil wealth has been well documented under his regime.
Almost fitting to his political demise, he sent a delegation to his country’s Shiite’s supreme leader asking for some support in calming the swelling opposition to his term, what he got back was a terse retort “it’s time for change”.
Reports already have it that he is vowing to fight till the very end, refusing to step down.