6 Feb 2011

Deadline on term in office set by Iraqi PM

11:12 am on 6 February 2011

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki of Iraq says he will not seek a third term in office when his mandate ends in 2014.

Mr Maliki was confirmed for a second term in December after nine months of negotiations over a new government following an inconclusive parliamentary election in March.

He said on Saturday that he would back the insertion of a clause in the constitution bringing in a two-term maximum.

Currently the prime minister can run for re-election an unlimited number of times, while the president can serve only two terms.

The constitution does not prevent a third, fourth or fifth term, but I have personally decided not to seek another term after this one, said Mr Maliki.

I support the insertion of a paragraph in the constitution that the prime minister gets only two turns, only eight years, and I think that's enough.

'Change is necessary'

Referring to the current unrest in Egypt and other countries, he said:

The people have the right to express what they want without being persecuted.

One of the characteristics of a lack of democracy is when a leader rules for 30 or 40 years. It is a difficult issue for people, it is intolerable and change is necessary.