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Maliki, Iraq's rebel-turned-PM who fought to the end

Caretaker Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki (3rd L) walks in the grounds of the Defence Ministry in the capital Baghdad during the funeral of Major General Majid Abdul Salam on August 13, 2014Iraq’s Nuri al-Maliki, a rebel-turned-leader who rose from anonymous exile to powerful premier widely criticised as authoritarian, fought to the end for another term but lost support and ultimately his office as security collapsed. After a strong showing in April polls, the two-term premier insisted the top job should again be his, but President Fuad Masum tasked Haidar al-Abadi, a member of Maliki’s Dawa party, with forming a new government instead. Maliki, a 64-year-old Shiite Arab, vowed to sue Masum, a Kurd, railed against him for allegedly violating the constitution, and ordered a massive security deployment in Baghdad. “I announce before you today… the withdrawal of my candidacy in favour of the brother Doctor Haidar al-Abadi,” Maliki said in a televised address on Thursday, with his successor at his side.

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