Iraqi PM calls for early elections
28 June, 2012
BAGHDAD: Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki called for early elections, in a statement released on Wednesday, after a series of political crises escalated into calls for his removal.
"When the other side refuses to sit at the table of dialogue and insists on the policy of provoking successive crises in a way that causes serious damage to the supreme interests of Iraqi people, the prime minister found himself forced to call for early elections," said the statement on Maliki's website. The next parliamentary polls were to be held in 2014.
According to Article 64 of the Iraqi constitution, parliament "may be dissolved by an absolute majority of the number of its members," or "by the request of the prime minister with the consent of the president of the Republic."
President Jalal Talabani's position on the issue was not immediately clear. After the last parliamentary polls in March 2010, a government was not formed until December, and some key cabinet posts including the defence and interior ministers remain vacant to this day.