Nuri al-Maliki resigned as the Prime Minister of Iraq on 14 August 2014 and accepted the candidacy of Dr. Haider al-Abadi, who was nominated by the President of Iraq Fouad Masoum to form the new government.
Maliki's decision cleared the way for Abadi to form a new government which is more and less sectarian. Further, the decision will also pave the way for new Constitution to become effective.
Maliki’s decision to quit also marks a second foreign policy victory in Iraq for US President Barack Obama, who was expecting from Maliki to step down from power.
The demand for Maliki to step down from power grew especially after the rise of ISIS militant group and their advance thereafter. Critics saw his reign since 2006, which was more alienating towards Sunni and other communities in Iraq, as the main reason for the rise of ISIS group.
About Nuri al-Maliki
• Nuri Mohammed Hassan Maliki was born near the Iraqi town of Hilla in July 1950.
• Joined the Islamic Dawa Party in the late 1960s
• Helped organise resistance against Saddam Hussein's regime; Fled to Syria in the 1970s
• Led the Dawa Party in Syria in the 1980s
• Returned to Iraq after Saddam toppled in 2003
• Became lawmaker and deputy chair of de-Baathification committee under the Coalition Provisional Authority
• Appointed prime minister on 20 May 2006 as a compromise candidate among Sunni Arab, Shia and Kurdish parties
• Reappointed prime minister on 21 December 2010
• His State of Law coalition won most seats in 2014 election
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Who: Nuri al-Maliki
When: 14 August 2014