It is a measure of how badly the regional and international community wants to see the back of Iraqi prime minister Nouri al Maliki.

Opposition to his divisive rule has brought together long-time adversaries Iran and Saudi Arabia, while the US, the EU and Turkey, along with the UN and the Arab League are among those backing the man chosen to replace him - Iraq's deputy speaker Haider al Abadi.

Maliki has been unable to form a new government since winning elections in April.

Now, at a time of deep national crisis, with fighters from the Islamic State group, taking over large swathes of the country, patience with Maliki is running out.

Speaking from Erbil in northern Iraq, Al Jazeera's Zeina Khodr, said: "Nouri al Maliki is justifying the fact that he is remaining in power saying that he is protecting the constitution and he is protecting democracy in Iraq."

Maliki said on Wednesday that it would take a federal court ruling to force him from power. But at a time of national crisis, does the interim prime minister have the best interests of Iraq at heart?

Presenter: Martine Dennis


Shiraz Maher -  a senior research fellow at Kings College London.

Mina Al Oraibi - assistant editor-in-chief of the Asharq Al Awsat newspaper.

Mark Kimmitt - a former US state department official and retired brigadier general.