Political chaos hits Baghdad

Dec. 19, 2011 at 4:36 PM

BAGHDAD, Dec. 19 (UPI) -- The Iraqi government violated the principles of the state constitution when it barred the vice president from leaving the country, a political party claimed.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki called for a no-confidence vote against his Sunni deputy Saleh al-Mutlaq after he complained that the two-term Shiite prime minister was abusing his authority, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Three members of the security team for Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi, a member of the Sunni-backed Iraqiya slate, were arrested last week on terrorism charges. An arrest warrant was issued for Hashemi.

Iraqi lawmakers almost a year ago to the day approved 29 ministers, including Maliki, for a new government in Baghdad, ending a record-breaking political deadlock that followed inconclusive March 2010 elections.

The deal followed wrangling over key positions and a decision to allow lawmakers accused of having ties to Saddam Hussein back onto the political stage.

Mutlaq was originally barred from politics in a move led by Ahmed Chalabi, a former Pentagon favorite, for his ties to Saddam's Baath Party.

Maysoun al-Damlouji, a spokeswoman for the Iraqiya slate, in a statement, said "unconstitutional" measures were used to pressure Maliki's rivals.

Iraqiya, in protest of Maliki's political pressure, said it was postponing its participation in the Iraqi Parliament.

The political flare-up rekindled almost immediately after U.S. forces marked the end to their military engagement in Iraq.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for more news from UPI.com
Related UPI Stories
share with facebook
share with twitter
Latest Headlines
Trending Stories