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Iraq PM vows to go ahead with political process

Baghdad : Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki vowed Wednesday to go ahead with the roadmap of the political process, rejecting any attempt by political rivals to form a government of national salvation to deal with the country’s deteriorating security situation.

“Despite the cruelty of the battle against terrorism, we will remain faithful to the will of the people in promoting the democratic experiment and in the protection of the political process,” Maliki said during his weekly televised speech.

“We will attend the first session of the Council of Representatives in line with the constitutional requirements,” Maliki said referring to the first session of the newly-elected parliament, which has to be convened within 15 days after the federal court ratifies the final result of the elections.

On June 16, the Iraqi federal court ratified the results of the April 30 parliamentary elections for all the Iraqi provinces, marking the first step toward forming the new Iraqi government.

Maliki ruled out the calls by some political rivals, including the Sunni Speaker Osama al-Nujaifi and the Shiite secular Ayad Allawi, for Maliki’s government to quit and form a government of national salvation to confront a Sunni militant offensive that has overrun large parts of the country, according to Xinhua.

“It is no secret for all Iraqis the dangerous goals behind calls for the formation of a national salvation government. This is an attempt by those who disrespect the constitution in order to eliminate the democratic experiment and circumvent the constitutional requirements,” Maliki said.

However, Maliki called on the Iraqi political blocs to “put aside the differences and to unify our efforts to start a new page of serious dialogue”.

A statement of the office of Vice President Khudair al-Khzaie, a Shiite, said that “the presidency is committed to the political and democratic path of the political process of the country as well as constitutional timings”.

The presidency will issue a decree during the next two days, calling on the new parliament to hold its first meeting, the statement said.