Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki refused to step away from his candidacy for prime minister today, even as his political rival, Osama al-Nujaifi, promised to not run for speaker of the house again. This inflexibility on the part of the premier could mean a long battle to create the new Iraq government. It is a battle that can only help Islamic State militants push forward in Iraq. At least 33 people were killed 22 more were wounded in the latest violence.
Despite internal and international pressure to step down, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki insists that he will seek a third term as premier. His State of Law party won the most votes in April elections, but they weren’t enough to give his party the supermajority needed to keep Maliki without a fight. Many believe that Maliki has only aggravated sectarian tensions and should not run again.
The security situation in Iraq begs for the normally lengthy process of creating a new government to be shortened dramatically. With that in mind, Osama al-Nujaifi, offered to pass on the chance to retain his post as the speaker of parliament. He hopes this concession will allow State of Law to pick a different candidate and still save face.
Militants handed over 46 Indian nurses, who were trapped in Tikrit when fighting broke out, to the Indian embassy in Arbil.
In Baghdad, a roadside bomb killed two people and wounded nine more near a Ghazaliya mosque.
Near Kirkuk, a roadside bomb wounded three policemen.
Tribal fighters in Abbasi and Hawija killed seven militants and wounded 10 more.
Six militants were killed in Mandali.