It has been two years since Nouri Al-Maliki, the Iraqi prime minister, took office as leader of Iraq's coalition government. 

Since then, his cabinet has been hit by resignations and defections, pushing it to the verge of collapse.

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Critics have accused Al-Maliki of being sectarian as his Shia-dominated government is seen as adopting policies against the minority Sunnis. 

His opponents see him as being weak and unable to take control of the country's rising violence and sectarian war.

The US has so far kept faith with Al-Maliki and provided much needed political support despite his defiance in forging a close alliance with Iran.  

Al-Maliki has called for more time and patience to rebuild Iraq and move it towards national reconciliation.

But with intense pressure coming from within the country and the US to show political progress in Iraq, is Al-Maliki running out of time to prove his critics wrong?

Can Al-Maliki hang on to power and bring the warring factions to peaceful co-existence or is he driving Iraq towards disaster?

Our guests this week:

Dr Saleh Al-Mutlak, Iraqi Front for National Dialogue, Haidar Al-Ibadi, Senior Advisor to the Iraqi prime minister and Anas Altikriti, an Iraqi political analyst

Watch part one of this episode of Inside Iraq

Watch part two of this episode of Inside Iraq

This episode of Inside Iraq aired on Friday, May 30, 2008


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