The Washington Post quotes Rafik Hariri Center Nonresident Fellow Ramzy Mardini on the election of a speaker for Iraq’s parliament:
Confidence in Maliki has deteriorated rapidly over the past month, as Sunni militants calling themselves the Islamic State have routed Iraqi forces and captured territory stretching from Syria to within 50 miles of Baghdad in central Iraq.
Nevertheless, Maliki might retain his post, said Ramzy Mardini, an Iraq expert and nonresident fellow at the Atlantic Council.
Far from signaling a behind-the-scenes agreement on a new government, Tuesday’s vote showed only that both pro- and anti-Maliki camps see the selection of a speaker as a way to push their agendas forward, Mardini said from Irbil, the capital of the semiautonomous Kurdish region in northern Iraq.
“Those against Maliki believe that starting the clock will lead to his ousting, and those supporting Maliki believe it will lead to his third term,” Mardini said. “As a result, both sides came out to elect a new speaker.”