Sunday, January 27, 2013

Irak parliament votes to keep Maliki from seeking new term

In the bloody aftermath of street protests that turned violent on Friday in Falluja, Irak’s Parliament passed a law on Saturday intended to prevent Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki from seeking a third term
The parliamentary move was the latest threat to Maliki’s hold on power and reflected rising anger among rivals over his leadership, but it appeared unlikely that the law, which would need to approved by Irak’s president, would ever go into effect
Maliki’s coalition in Parliament boycotted the vote, and an official close to the prime minister called it unconstitutional and vowed to appeal to the federal courts, which on paper are independent but in practice bend to Maliki’s will. Sami al-Askari, a lawmaker from Maliki’s coalition, said the law would “not see the light of day” because, he said, it is unconstitutional. “We are not worried about the vote on this law,” he said

Funeral of protesters killed on Friday in Fallujah

The vote came after weeks of protests in the sunni-dominated province of Anbar resulted in violence on Friday, when the shitie-led government’s security forces opened fire, leaving at least seven protesters in Falluja dead
Dueling scenes that played out on Saturday — the hundreds of mourners who hoisted the coffins of dead protesters in the streets of Falluja and the lawmakers in Baghdad who cast votes in an attempt to limit the power of the prime minister — encapsulated the prevailing features of Iraki public life after the long and costly American war: sectarianism, violence and political dysfunction

At least seven protesters and two soldiers were killed on Friday in clashes that started after Iraki Army forces opened fire on demonstrators who had pelted them with rocks on the outskirts of Falluja
News reports here and here.