BAGHDAD, Iraq - Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki faced a widening revolt
within his divided government as two senior Sunni politicians joined prominent
Shiite lawmakers and Cabinet members in criticizing his policies.
Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi
said he wanted to see al-Maliki's government gone and another "understanding"
for a new coalition put in place with guarantees that ensure collective decision
US President George W. Bush speaks during a joing press
conference with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki (L). Bush has praised
Maliki as the "right guy" for the job and vowed US forces would stay on
"to get the job done".[AFP]
"There is a clear deterioration in security and everything is moving in the
wrong direction," the Sunni leader told The Associated Press. "This situation
must be redressed as soon as possible. If they continue, the country will plunge
into civil war."
Al-Maliki's No. 2, Deputy Prime Minister Salam Zikam Ali al-Zubaie, also a
Sunni, argued that the president's government failed to curb the spread of
A boycott by 30 lawmakers and five Cabinet ministers loyal to anti-American
Shi'ite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr was in protest of al-Maliki's meeting with
President Bush in Jordan on Thursday. The Sadrists said the meeting amounted to
an affront to the Iraqi people.