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Iraqi Prime Minister faces more calls for resignation

Duraid Adnan and Christine Hauser report for the New York Times:

A political crisis facing the Shiite-led government of Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki of Iraq appeared to escalate on Friday, as more political rivals called for his resignation and for early elections. In addition to the political arena, demand for change echoed in the streets as demonstrators expanded protests in major Iraqi cities.

Mr. Maliki, a Shiite, has come under fire in recent weeks for measures that some lawmakers and political opponents, especially rival Sunnis but also some Shiites, see as an attempt to sideline them and monopolize power leading up to provincial elections that are scheduled for April. They will be the first elections in Iraq without the presence of American forces since the overthrow of Saddam Hussein.

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