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Need for statesmanship

Jul 05,2014 - Last updated at Jul 05,2014

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al Maliki has ruled out giving way to another Shiite candidate for his post and insists on running for a third term.

Maliki must be putting the results of the last parliamentary elections that gave his party the highest number of seats in the legislature — not the majority, though — into the equation, for else he has little by way of support to cling to power the way he does.

If technically the incumbent prime minister is not in the wrong to claim a third term in office, politically he is.

His highly discriminatory policy over the years had much to do with the divisions in Iraq, and for sure he cannot expect more of it to redress things.

Even among the Shiite congregation, to which he belongs, blanket support is not guaranteed, and Maliki is aware of it, so then, his insistence on a third term can only be seen as political greed.

The situation in Iraq has become even more complicated since the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant forces occupied vast territories of the country, compounding the Sunni-Shiite problem.

With little to show for after having served two terms in office, it should not take much for Maliki to realise that fresh blood is needed at the helm of his country. 

Insisting otherwise is unwise and does not help Iraq in any way.

Statesmanship and wisdom are needed if the deep, hurtful divisions in Iraq are to be healed.

An inclusive government that instates democracy and treats citizens equally is the only way to salvation. 

Leaving things as they are will further, and profoundly, divide the country along religious and ethnic lines. Iraq will thus run the risk of being split into ministates with no political clout and limited economic benefits.

Anybody who has the interest of his country at heart should give careful consideration to the political developments, setting priorities and goals for the general good, not for narrow personal benefits.

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