Rivals of Iraq's Maliki try to block third term

By REUTERS
November 13, 2012 13:50

 
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BAGHDAD - Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's rivals have started campaigning for term limits in an attempt to block the Shi'ite leader running for a third term in 2014, opening up a new battle in the country's fragile cross-sectarian government.

Since the last American troops left Iraq nearly a year ago, the country's Shi'ite, Sunni Muslim and ethnic Kurdish parties have been caught up in a power-sharing stalemate that has left key oil and investment laws paralyzed in parliament.

Kurdish parties, the Sunni-backed Iraqiya bloc and even some rivals in Maliki's own Shi'ite coalition failed earlier this year to trigger a vote of no confidence against a prime minister whom they accuse of consolidating power at their expense.

Those same factions have now handed a proposed law to parliament that would limit the mandate of prime minister to two terms, challenging a leader well-known for his skilful maneuvering through Iraq's shifting alliances.

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