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Monday, August 11, 2014

Iraq Takes Steps Toward A New Government

A journalist watches as Iraqi President Fuad Masum shakes hands with deputy parliamentary speaker Haidar al-Abadi, who has been tasked with forming a government, during a brief ceremony broadcast on state television on August 11, 2014, in Baghdad. (Sabah Arar/AFP/Getty Images)

A journalist watches as Iraqi President Fuad Masum shakes hands with deputy parliamentary speaker Haidar al-Abadi, who has been tasked with forming a government, during a brief ceremony broadcast on state television on August 11, 2014, in Baghdad. (Sabah Arar/AFP/Getty Images)

Iraq’s new president on Monday snubbed the powerful incumbent Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and nominated the deputy parliament speaker to form the new government, raising fears of more infighting in the government as country faces the threat of Sunni militants in the north.

In a televised address Fouad Massoum gave Haider al-Ibadi, who was selected by a coalition of Shiite political parties, 30 days to form a new government and present it to parliament for approval.

The ceremony came hours after the embattled al-Maliki delivered a surprise speech at midnight accusing the country’s Massoum of blocking his reappointment as prime minister and carrying out “a coup against the constitution and the political process.”

Despite angrily insisting that he should be nominated for a third term, al-Maliki has lost some of his support with the main coalition of Shiite parties turning against him.

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Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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