First Published: 2012-05-30


Iraq’s ‘kingmaker’ will back no confidence vote in Maliki


Influential Iraqi cleric Moqtada al-Sadr denies he opposed moves by MPs of Sunni-backed Iraqiya faction to bring down Shiite premier.


Middle East Online

‘This is a promise’

BAGHDAD - Influential Iraqi Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr said on Wednesday that his parliamentary bloc would back a motion of no confidence in Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki if that gave it the support of a majority of MPs.

In the latest twist in a political crisis that has dogged Iraq ever since US troops completed a pullout in December, Sadr denied that he opposed moves by MPs of the Sunni-backed Iraqiya faction to bring down the Shiite premier.

"This is not true," Sadr said in a written answer to a question from one of his followers.

"I promised my partners that if they got 124 votes, I will complete the 164 votes," he added, referring to the 40 MPs who belong to his parliamentary bloc.

Under the Iraqi constitution, a no confidence motion can be put before parliament either by the president or by 50 MPs. To pass, it must be approved by an absolute majority in the 325-seat parliament.

Maliki's critics in Iraqiya, who accuse him of monopolising decision-making in the hard-won national unity government, have called in recent weeks for a vote on a motion of no confidence in the premier after the party abandoned an earlier boycott of both parliament and the cabinet.

The political crisis took on a sectarian edge when, days after the Iraqiya walkout from parliament in December, the Shiite-led government issued an arrest warrant for Sunni Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi on charges he ran a death squad.

Hashemi says the charges are politically motivated.


Coalition shoots down Yemen rebel missile near Mecca

Russia denies role in deadly air strikes on Syria school

Sisi promises to revise 2013 protest law

Kurdistan to renew push for independence once Mosul liberated

Unpaid Yemenis struggle to make ends meet

KGB archives suggest Israeli officials were Soviet spies

MP says Iraqi plane bombed civilians in north of country

Russia seeks to stop jihadists from fleeing Mosul

Saudi Aramco says ex-worker in Embraer bribe case

Turkey urges end to NATO mission in Aegean by end of year

UN says IS execute at least 232 people near Mosul this week

Rebels bombard regime in run-up to breaking Aleppo siege

US official calls for vigilance against IS refinancing

US says 4 Iranian arms shipments to Yemen stopped

Tunisia denies hosting US drone base

Up to 900 IS fighters killed in Mosul says US general

Experts warn recapturing Raqa more difficult than Mosul

EU approves new Syria sanctions, targets 10 top officials

Survivors of IS torture win EU's Sakharov rights prize

Almost 100 migrants missing off Libyan coast

Rebel attack on Aleppo school kills three children: state report

Russia denies striking Syria school

Erdogan says Turkish military operation will target Raqa

IS-linked militants abandon Somali port town

From IS slaves to global voices for Yazidis

Turkey orders arrest of 73 air force pilots

US Treasury chief says 9/11 law could have ‘serious implications’

Bloodbath in air strikes on Syria school

25 travelling on inflatable dinghy found dead in Mediterannean

Villages reclaimed, but return still distant for Iraqi Christians

Turkey says will clear Kurdish fighters from Manbij

Russia cancels warship fuel stop after pressure on Spain to refuse permission

US, UK expect Raqa offensive within weeks

Sudan's Bashir to appoint PM for first time since coup

Israel army says soldier wounded by gunfire on Lebanese border

Students among 22 dead as raids hit Syria school

Israel charges 13 Jews with celebrating murder of Palestinians

Revolutionary Guards commander says Iranian firms should lead oil projects

Egyptian officer accidentally shoots dead Israeli teen

IS members ‘shave beards’ as Iraqi forces approach Mosul

US praises Qatar moves to deny jihadists funds

Clashes between protesters, police in Diyarbakir after Turkey arrests mayors

Saudi financial position strong despite oil prices says minister

Iran develops 'suicide drone'

Egypt rolls out austerity programme