(WASHINGTON POST) BAGHDAD — Embattled Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki on Wednesday rejected demands from rival politicians for an emergency national unity government, as al-Qaeda-inspired insurgents gained more ground, assaulting a former U.S. air base and pushing toward one of the country’s largest dams.
In his weekly address to the nation, he described such efforts as a “rebellion” against the constitution. The United States is pressuring Iraq to create a more inclusive government, urging Maliki, a Shiite, to reach out to the country’s disaffected Sunni Muslim minority.
With the country’s conflict expanding, Baghdad is locked in a period of intense political maneuvering that could result in Maliki’s loss of the premiership. Given the violence, he is likely to struggle to form a government although his party won the largest share of the vote in April parliamentary elections, analysts said.
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