Iraqis have differences of opinion over Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's decision not to step down, defying a chorus of critics demanding his replacement as the country faces a threat from Islamist insurgents. Jillian Kitchener reports.
He's not leaving any time soon. Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki is refusing to give up his quest for a third term in power. An announcer read his decision on state tv. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) STATE TELEVISION ANNOUNCER READING OUT STATEMENT BY PRIME MINISTER NURI AL-MALIKI, SAYING: "I say with determination and with firm resolve that I will remain loyal to the Iraqi people and I will never give up my candidacy for the post of prime minister. The State of Law coalition is the biggest bloc and it has the right to the prime minister post and no other bloc has the right to impose conditions" Maliki's been under mounting pressure from critics to step aside, as the country faces a severe threat from Islamist insurgents. Iraqis are divided over the Prime Minister's decision. (SOUNDBITE)(Arabic) LOCAL RESIDENT, SAMIR AL-SAADI, SAYING: "If the prime minister gets a third term, Iraq will be divided and the problems in the country will increase because he has opponents among the political blocs. He has done nothing for the Iraqi people over the past 10 years. Sectarian killings are rife, the security situation has deteriorated, in addition to the bombings. The security situation has deteriorated during his past two terms. He has done nothing." Some say that because the National Alliance won April's elections, it would suggest parliament would easily confirm Maliki for a third term.