Former Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki fulfilled his life-long goal of wresting power from the country’s minority Sunnis after the fall of Saddam Hussein but his drive to entrench Shi’ite dominance proved his downfall.
Blamed for the widespread corruption and divisive policies that contributed to the collapse of the Iraqi military and the rise of Islamic State, Maliki lost the premiership to fellow Dawa Party member Haider al-Abadi after a 2014 election.
Now, after four years sidelined as one of three largely ceremonial vice-presidents, Maliki is taking on Abadi in a May 12 election in a bid to win a third term as prime minister, and is posing again as Iraq’s Shi’ite champion.
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