BAGHDAD, Jan. 28 (UPI) -- An Iraqi lawmaker confirmed that members of Parliament passed legislation that bars Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki from seeking a third term in office.
The move means Maliki would be ineligible to seek a third term in office in elections next year.
Members of the Shiite-led State of Law slate in Parliament objected to the measure that placed term limits on the presidents, parliament speaker and prime minister.
Iraqi lawmaker Amir al-Kanani confirmed to the Kuwait News Agency, known as KUNA, that the measure passed by an overwhelming majority in a weekend vote. KUNA reports that State of Law plans to challenge the law in a federal court.
Maliki has faced growing opposition as Iraq enters its second year without a U.S. military presence.
Lingering issues between the central government and that of the semiautonomous Kurdish north have led to questions regarding Iraq's stability. A protest movement, meanwhile, has grown out of the Sunni-dominated province of Anbar, once the seat of an insurgency.
Reidar Visser, a noted Iraq expert, writes on his supplement to the historiae.org site that the move could be considered a major blow to the prime minister.
"Maliki cannot survive merely on the basis of an amenable judiciary and populist gestures of an increasingly sectarian nature," he writes.