SHAFAQNA (Shia News Association) — Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has called for early elections after efforts to end the political crisis in the country through negotiations failed.
Maliki’s decision came after his political rival, led by al-Iraqiya bloc, refused to enter into dialogue to solve the political impasse and instead launched a campaign to unseat him.
"When the other side refuses to sit at the table of dialogue and insists on the policy of provoking successive crises in a way that causes serious damage to the supreme interests of Iraqi people, the prime minister found himself forced to call for early elections," a statement on the premier's website said on Wednesday.
Iraq's next parliamentary elections were to be held in 2014. According to Iraqi constitution, parliament "may be dissolved by an absolute majority of the number of its members," or "by the request of the prime minister with the consent of the President of the Republic."
Earlier this month, Maliki's opponents failed to persuade President Jalal Talabani to call a no-confidence vote and they are now pressing for a no-confidence motion in the parliament.
Maliki’s opponents accuse him of monopolizing power.
Iraq has been hit by a series of intertwined political crises since mid-December 2011, after an investigative committee within the Interior Ministry issued an arrest warrant for Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi, who is a senior al-Iraqiya official, on charges of running a death squad in post-war Iraq.
Since then al-Iraqiya, which holds 82 seats in the 325-member parliament and controls nine ministerial posts, has almost paralyzed the government and the parliament by refusing to attend parliamentary sessions and ministerial meetings and opposing Maliki's policies. —www.shafaqna.com/english/