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'Unconstitutional': Maliki rejects law seeking to limit his term

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The Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki rejected setting a fixed term for his tenure in an interview with Al Arabiya on Saturday.

He said: “The law fixing my term as prime minister and head of parliament will not pass because it is against the constitution.”

“Legislating laws as per the constitution come from the prime minister or president, and none have approved of such law.”

The prime minister concurred that “the law will not pass in the federal court.”

He sounded the alarm that there are “politicians in parliament who strive to bring back dictatorship.”

The Iraqi parliament voted a week ago to pass a law that seeks to prevent Maliki from seeking a third term in office.

Previous campaigns to curb some of Maliki’s increasing powers included a futile attempt to unseat him on November 2012. Kurdish parties, Iraqiya bloc and even some rivals in Maliki’s own Shiite coalition failed to pass a vote of no-confidence.

The divisions in Maliki’s wider State of Law Coalition are because some members rejected the prime minister be given a third term, sharing similar sentiment to their Sunni and Kurdish counterparts.

To make the draft law binding, the president and the federal court – both Maliki’s allies – have to approve it. President Jalal Talabani had foiled the attempt to unseat Maliki when he stated late 2012 that he will not submit a request to the Iraqi parliament to withdraw confidence from Maliki.

The federal court has nearly always stood by Maliki’s administration on paper, Baghdad-based political analyst Adnan Hussein said.

“This is an important step as it will formulate Iraq’s future,” Hussein told Al Arabiya. “But technically they cannot,” citing the judiciary’s lack of independence.

The draft law shows the leader is losing his grip especially after deadly protests against his administration rocked the mainly Sunni province of Anbar.

Maliki also commented on the situation in and said no resolution can be reached in the conflict-ravaged country by using military force, and both President Bashar al-Assad’s regime and the opposition have failed to find a solution by using arms.

“Dialogue and reforms,” are the only solution for Syria, he emphasized.

He expressed his concern about certain terrorist groups in Syria, such as the U.S.-blacklisted al-Nusra Front.