(BAGHDAD) — Iraq’s tenuous political environment became shakier Thursday as some members of parliament said they would renew efforts to oust Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.
Since U.S. forces were withdrawn last December, the Shiite leader’s opponents have accused him of consolidating power in an effort to marginalize the Sunni and Kurd minorities.
Speaker Osama al-Nujaifi says he and others want the prime minister to come before parliament to answer their question about his methods of achieving national unity in the midst of their lack of faith in his regime.
Al-Nujaifi says if al-Maliki doesn’t convince opponents that he has the best interests of all Iraqis in mind then they’ll call for a no confidence vote in an attempt to replace him.
Getting the prime minister to sit for questions is probably easier said than done with little likelihood of him appearing before lawmakers.
However, al-Maliki could be convinced to respond if Kurdish regional president Massud Barzani and powerful Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, who have turned against his rule, apply added pressure on the prime minister.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Chandrika Narayan and Steve Almasy, CNN
Georgia McCafferty and Junko Ogura, CNN
Billy Hallowell, Deseret News