One of the biggest issue in Iraqi politics right now isn’t the inability of the ruling parties to form a new government but a series of tapes released on Twitter that feature Nuri al-Maliki not only attacking his rival Moqtada al-Sadr but his allies within the Coordination Framework. That has cost him a bid to be prime minister a third time.
At the start of July Maliki’s State of Law nominated him to be Iraq’s leader once again. With the largest number of seats within the Coordination Framework list Maliki thought he had the right to become premier again. After a recent meeting of the Framework however his name was removed as his opponents within the alliance used the leaked audios against him. That doesn’t mean Iraq’s parties are any closer to forming a government but if the Framework had endorsed Maliki it would have assured continued deadlock.
Maliki has been a controversial figure in Iraq. When he was PM he became an autocrat using the security forces against his enemies including Sadr and helped the insurgency rebuild by attacking and shutting down protest sites. What finally brought him down was the loss of Mosul to the Islamic State in 2014 which he was blamed for. Despite that he has been able to maintain his base as shown in his election results. That’s largely due to Maliki maintaining his patronage network via his State of Law and Dawa Party dominating large parts of the bureaucracy. That gives him control of jobs and corruption which are used to garner votes.
Al Mada, “The opposition with the Coordination Framework controls the coup against al-Maliki and isolates him from running for a new term,” 7/21/22
NRT, “Coordination Framework: Maliki And Amiri Withdraw As Candidates For Prime Minister,” 7/20/22
- “State Of Law Coalition Selects Nuri Al-Maliki As Candidate For Prime Minister,” 7/3/22