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Iraq's Maliki orders security forces not to interfere in politics, but to protect nation

Iraq's prime minister has ordered the security forces not intervene in the current political crisis over who will be the next prime minister.

In a statement issued on his official website, Nouri al-Maliki urged army, police and security forces to stay out of the political crisis and focus on defending the country.

A day earlier, Haider al-Abadi, the deputy speaker of parliament from al-Maliki's Shiite Dawa party, was selected by President Fouad Massoum to be the new prime minister and was given 30 days to present a new government.

Al-Maliki rejected the move and described it as a constitutional violation. Just before the announcement he ordered elite army units into the streets of Baghdad.