The New York Times reports: Despite sharp criticism from almost every political party in Iraq and pressure from friendly foreign powers to step down, Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki announced Friday that he would seek a third term as prime minister.
He never suggested that he would step down. But the chorus of criticism over his sectarian policies, which helped create the conditions that led to a large portion of the country falling to Islamic extremists, had left many believing that lacking supporters, he might relinquish power.
They appear to have underestimated his desire to hold on to it.
“I will not give up my candidacy for a third term,” Mr. Maliki announced in a statement read on Iraqiya, the state television channel.
He noted that the bloc of lawmakers that supported his nomination was the largest in the Parliament and that they should not be asked to meet any conditions imposed by other legislative groups, such as supporting a different candidate. [Continue reading…]