The Iraqi parliament on Saturday passed a law that would bar Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki from a third term, amid anger of some lawmakers who argued that the draft law was unconstitutional.
A total of 171 lawmakers out of 242 attended Saturday’s session which voted in the draft that limits the president, prime minister and parliament speaker to two terms.
The move could prevent Maliki from another four-year term in his office, but Maliki’s allies furiously rejected the move and insisted that the law was illegal, saying that they would go to the federal court to bring it down.
The lawmakers of Maliki’s State of Law bloc walked out of the parliament session, protesting against the vote for the draft law.
“This law will not stand long and we will go to the courts,” Khalid al-Asadi, a lawmaker, told reporters at a press conference at the parliament.
Observers said that even if Maliki’s allies will manage to abolish the law, the move is still seen as mounting pressures against Maliki who is already facing challenges of month-long protests by the Sunni Arabs.
Earlier, the Sunni-backed parliamentary Iraqia bloc announced that it has boycott the upcoming parliament sessions except for those sessions leading to a motion of no confidence against the government and the discussion of decisions and laws that meet the demands of the protesters.