Opponents of Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki are to ask in the coming days for him to appear before parliament in a renewed bid to oust him, speaker Osama al-Nujaifi said on Thursday.
“The political powers that presented their desires… to withdraw confidence from his excellency the prime minister are continuing their procedures and will present the request in the coming days,” Nujaifi told a news conference.
He said that parliament will have the final say but that if a majority of MPs are not convinced by Maliki’s answers to their questions, a vote of no confidence in the prime minister could follow.
A protracted political row that began with accusations that Maliki was monopolising decision-making in Iraq’s national unity government and moving towards a dictatorship have escalated into calls for his ouster.
The Sunni-backed Iraqiya list, Kurdish regional president Massud Barzani and powerful Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr have been the main forces pressing for the Shiite premier to quit.
An effort to persuade President Jalal Talabani to call a no-confidence vote stalled earlier this month when he said that Maliki’s opponents lacked the votes to oust him.
That decision meant the only way Maliki’s opponents could press their drive for a no-confidence motion was by requesting that he appear before parliament and then holding a no-confidence vote.