Maliki, Nouri al-

(1950- )
   Previously known as Jawad al-Maliki in an attempt to protect his family from Saddam Hussein, al-Maliki began his political career as a Shiite dissident in the 1970s. He became a leader of the Dawa Party and faced a death sentence that chased him into exile until the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003.
   He became prime minister of postwar Iraq on 20 May 2006 after much infighting. At first, al-Maliki faced a very daunting task in trying to defeat the raging insurgency, but gradually he managed to bring things under some control. His achievements won him a major electoral victory in the provincial elections held on 31 January 2009. From his new position of strength he renewed his efforts to reestablish a strongly centralized Iraqi government. This, of course, led to serious opposition from the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), which argued vehemently that the Iraqi constitution adopted on 15 October 2005 espoused meaningful federalism. KRG president Massoud Barzani even told al-Maliki that he smelled like a dictator. Al-Maliki's State of Law Party came in a close second to Ayad Allawi's Iraqiya Party in the 7 March 2010 national election. No new government had been created as of August 2010.

Historical Dictionary of the Kurds. .

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