Iraq's prime minister wishes to leave post
Mr al-Maliki has been in office since May 2006
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Wednesday, 03, Jan 2007 09:15
Iraqi prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki, has said he will not accept a second term in the post.
The prime minister assumed office in May 2006 and although his constitutional mandate will continue until 2010, he has stated that if he could, he would leave the position before the four year term ends.
Speaking to US newspaper, the Wall Street Journal, Mr al-Maliki said: "I wish it could be done with even before the end of this term."
He added that he had not strived to become the country's political leader, saying: "I didn't want to take this position. I only agreed because I thought it would serve the national interest, and I will not accept it again."
Mr al-Maliki's term so far has been plagued by sectarian violence and a vast increase in the number of civilian fatalities.
The prime minister also criticised the ability of coalition forces to stamp down on uprisings in the country, saying: "What is happening in Iraq is a war of gangs and a terrorist war. That is why it needs to be confronted with a strong force and with fast reaction."
In the past week, Iraq has seen the death toll of US troops reach the 3,000 mark and the execution of the country's previous dictator, Saddam Hussein.