Iraq's Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki says he will file a legal complaint against the country's new president for committing "a clear constitutional violation." Al-Maliki made the announcement in a surprise speech late Sunday night, plunging the government into a political crisis at a time it is battling advances by Islamic State militants. Al-Maliki, whose bloc won the most seats in April elections, is accusing the new president Fouad Massoum of neglecting to name a prime minister from the country's largest parliamentary faction by Sunday's deadline. He says the president has violated the constitution "for the sake of political goals."
The United States is closely monitoring the new developments in Iraq, according to a statement by State Department Deputy Spokesperson Marie Harf.
"The United States fully supports President Fuad Masum in his role as guarantor of the Iraqi Constitution...We reject any effort to achieve outcomes through coercion or manipulation of the constitutional or judicial process," the statement read. "The United States stands ready to support a new and inclusive government, particularly in the fight against ISIL. We believe such a new and inclusive government is the best way to unify the country against ISIL, and to enlist the support of other countries in the region and international community."
— The Associated Press