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.