Analysis: Oil law dissent shows cracks in Maliki’s government

The KRG's strident opposition to the Cabinet's draft oil law comes as the prime minister's governing coalition is straining under increasing dissent.
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki (2nd R) is seen next to former Prime Minister Iyad Allawi (3rd R) after the first Parliament session on June 14, 2010. (MUHANNAD FALA'AH/Getty Images)

The governing coalition led by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is showing signs of cracking as a draft oil law, already criticized by the largest electoral bloc in Parliament, received a blunt rebuke from the leadership of the semi-autonomous Kurdish region.

Maliki's nine-month-old government is pressing forward its draft of a law that could help resolve political disputes by clarifying the structure of Iraq's oil sector. But key members of his fragile coalition have backed a competing version that originated in the Parliament, while the cleric Moqtada al-Sadr has warned of imminent street protests against Maliki's government.

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