The Growing Risks of Iraq’s Political Stalemate

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Though overshadowed by recent news coverage focusing on Iraq’s still-fragile security situation, the country’s political stalemate remains a matter of concern. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki refuses to share power with his rivals. But while Maliki’s relative influence is large, he is constrained by Iraq’s parliamentary and federal systems, a gift of the now-departed Americans. Meanwhile, his opponents are weakened by divisions over ethnicity, region, ideology and competing personal ambitions. As a result, they have been unable to remove Maliki from office or force him to yield back the powers he has steadily accrued during his six years as prime minister. […]

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