Just days after the US launched a campaign that implicitly aides the current regime headed by the supposedly outgoing PM, al-Maliki, it appears that latest US intervention has already led to “unexpected” consequences, this time with the prime minister appearing to have just staged a coup overthrowing Iraq’s president President Fouad Massoum moments ago.
Reuters reports that the prime minister “indicated that he will not drop his bid for a third term and accused the president of violating the constitution in a tough televised speech likely to deepen political tensions as a Sunni insurgency rages. Maliki, seen as an authoritarian and sectarian leader, has defied calls by Sunnis, Kurds, some fellow Shi’ites and regional power broker Iran to step aside for a less polarising figure who can unite Iraqis against Islamic State militants.
The days of Iraq’s president appear numbered.
Bloomberg adds that Maliki says he’s going to federal court to sue President Fouad Masoum for violating the constitution, according to comments made to Iraqi state television. President Masoum in breach when he extended constitutional period for chosing a candidiate to form government and for missing deadline for new period, according to Maliki. Maliki adds that Masoum is in a “coup against the poilitical process” that would lead “Iraq into a dark tunnel.” Maliki warned Presidential council, parliament and federal court about Masoum.
The news has promptly led the WaPo Beirut chief correspondent Liz Sly to ask the question: did Baghdad just have a coup 3 days after the US conducted its fourth military intervention under as many US presidents?