Paragraphs (1) through (3) of Article 76 of the Iraqi Constitution say:
First: The President of the Republic shall charge the nominee of the largest Council of Representatives bloc with the formation of the Council of Ministers within fifteen days from the date of the election of the President of the Republic.
Second: The Prime Minister-designate shall undertake the naming of the members of his Council of Ministers within a period not to exceed thirty days from the date of his designation.
Third: If the Prime Minister-designate fails to form the Council of Ministers during the period specified in clause “Second,” the President of the Republic shall charge a new nominee for the post of Prime Minister within fifteen days.
What is so hard to understand, people? If everybody from President Obama to Supreme Leader Khamenei, not to mention all the Iraqi Sunnis and Kurds and many Shi’ites including members of his own Dawa Party wanted him to leave, what harm was there in giving Maliki his 45 days before moving on to the conciliatory alternative?
Constitutional provisions may be a dinar/riyal/rial a dozen business as usual in the Middle East (or not, I have no way of knowing). But I am a little disturbed by the American disregard for the constitutional process when it comes to the consequences of its overseas adventures in the interests of democracy. And I’m also talking about the situation in Ukraine here. (Couldn’t someone make the Maidan protesters wait another year, then vote Yanukovich out?)
Maybe their thinking is that it’s all well if it ends well. But there’s been a lot of grief, including threats to the desired range of outcomes as the result of these “democracy” shortcuts.