No more Iraqi coups, al-Maliki says

Dec. 20, 2008 at 3:23 PM

BAGHDAD, Dec. 20 (UPI) -- Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said Saturday the stability of Iraq's security forces means the country should no longer face revolutionary coups.

Al-Maliki credited the government's regular security forces with ensuring that no revolutionary forces will ever attempt to overthrow the Iraqi government, KUNA reported.

The prime minister also credited the existence of civilian freedoms in Iraq with ensuring no government takeovers occur in the foreseeable future,the Kuwaiti news agency said.

"No one will think about toppling the state as long as freedoms are maintained and as long citizens can cast their votes freely at the polling stations," al-Maliki said at an inauguration ceremony Saturday.

KUNA said the Iraqi official did confirm members of the Arab Socialist Baath Party may plot a takeover, but said the defunct regime's ideals did not represent that of the Iraqi people.

"But this is not the aspiration of the people, the army, the police, the establishments or the national parties," al-Maliki said.

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