UN Security Council calls for early formation of inclusive gov’t in Iraq

UNITED NATIONS, (PNA/Xinhua) — The UN Security Council on Wednesday called for the formation of a new inclusive government in Iraq “as quickly as possible and within the constitutional time- frame,” and urged all political parties and their supporters to remain calm and respect the political process governed by the Constitution.

The Security Council was encouraged by the decision of Iraqi President Fuad Masum to nominate a new prime minister-designate, said a statement issued to the press here.

“The nomination of a new prime minister-designate is an important step toward the formation of an inclusive government that represents all segments of the Iraqi population and that contributes to finding a viable and sustainable solution to the country’s current challenges,” the 15-nation UN body said in the statement.

The Council also urged the prime minister-designate, Haider al- Abadi, to work swiftly to form such a government as quickly as possible and within the constitutional time-frame.

Al-Abadi, a lawmaker from Iraq’s embattled Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki’s own Shite Islamist Dawa Party, has 30 days to form a new government under the Constitution.

Al-Maliki has rejected his successor appointed by newly elected President Masum in his last attempt to cling to power, a move that analysts say is plunging the war-torn country into political chaos.

The al-Abdai’s appointment has come just as some elite Iraqi security forces were seen deployed in various Baghdad streets, blocking off main avenues, while hundreds of Maliki’s supporters also held rally in the Iraqi capital, raising fears that al-Maliki may resort to force by using loyalists within the security forces to stay in power.

Amid the political and security tensions in Baghdad, Nickolay Mladenov, the special representative of the UN secretary-general for Iraq, welcomed al-Abadi’s nomination as prime minister- designate, adding that the Iraqi security forces should not intervene in political process in the Middle East country.

Council members reiterate their support for Iraq’s democratic process and for the Iraqi people in their fight against terrorism, in particular against the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), al-Qaida-inspired militant group, said the statement.

The situation remains particularly dire on Sinjar Mountain in north Iraq, where an estimated 50,000 people, many of them women, children and the elderly, are believed to be trapped since ISIL displaced them from their homes one week ago.

The United Nations has received verified reports that the armed group is systematically hunting down members of minority groups who remain trapped in areas under their control and giving them the ultimatum, “convert or die,” stated Christof Heyns, UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions.

“We cannot stand by in the face of such atrocities. International actors must do all in their power to support those on the ground with the capacity to protect lives,” he urged.