Iraqi Parliament’s Speaker Steps Down

    Osama al-Nujaifi, Speaker of Iraq's Council of Representatives, listens during an event at the Brookings Institution January 23, 2014 in Washington, DC. Al-Nujayfi spoke about issues faced by the Iraqi government, its upcoming elections and addressed questions about the resurgence of Al-Qaeda in Iraq. AFP PHOTO/Brendan SMIALOWSKI        (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)

    Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty

    Iraq's parliamentary speaker Osama al-Nujaifi says he will not nominate himself for another term. Nujaifi is one of the major opponents of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, and his resignation may pave the way for Maliki to step down as well. "I appreciate the demands of the brothers in the National Alliance who see that Maliki will insist on holding on to the premiership if I nominate myself for speaker of the Council of the Representatives," he said. Iraq's politicians have not been able to make any progress in forming a new government, and this week Sunni and Kurd leaders walked out of the first meeting in protest. Many blame Maliki for heavy-handed, sectarian rule that has assisted the rise of ISIS.

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