The president gave Ibadi 30 days to present a new government to lawmakers for approval. Ibadi's nomination quickly received support from the Iraqi Kurdistan leader Masoud Barzani, Iran and the United States as well as Saudi Arabia, prompting Maliki to describe the nomination as a 'violation of the constitution'.
Barzani told Joe Biden, the US vice president, that it would be willing to work with the new Iraqi leader. But Maliki insists that he is entitled to form the next government, and has also stressed that any violation of the constitution must be prevented. It will be up to the judiciary to remedy the violation in line with decisions of the Federal Supreme Court, Maliki said. Al Jazeera's Jane Arraf, reporting from Erbil, said that it was clear that the support was going to the PM designate.
On the question over Maliki's claims that the nomination violated the consitition, Arraf said the "problem with the constitution is that it is quite flexible and many people have different interpretations."
Meanwhile on Tuesday, US Secretary of State John Kerry urged Iraq's new leaders to work quickly to form an inclusive government and said the US was now prepared to offer the new government significant additional aid in the fight against the Islamic State group. Kerry said the US "stands ready to fully support a new and inclusive Iraqi government'' and called on Prime Minister designate Haider al-Ibadi "to form a new cabinet as swiftly as possible.''
According to Kerry, Washington would be ready "to fully support a new and inclusive Iraqi government, particularly in its fight against ISIL." "Without any question, we are prepared to consider additional political, economic and security options as Iraq starts to build a new government,'' Kerry said. He added that the assistance would be "very much calculated to try to help stabilise the security situation, expand economic development and strengthen democratic institutions.''
Kerry's remarks echoed comments made Monday by Obama, who welcomed new leadership in Iraq as "a promising step forward. Kerry would not outline the potential new US assistance to Iraq, but he ruled out the return of American combat troops to the country. Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel said the Pentagon was considering additional aid to the Iraqi security forces, including the Kurdish army, which is now involved in heavy fighting against the armed rebels.
He said increased coordination between Baghdad and the Kurdish capital of Erbil was encouraging and said the US hoped to be able to build on that in the future as it determines how best to support the Iraqi armed forces.
"We think that's a signal for potential growing cooperation between Baghdad and Erbil,'' Hagel said.
The Obama administration has begun directly providing weapons to Kurdish forces who have started to make gains against the Islamic State, senior US officials said, but the aid has so far been limited to automatic rifles and ammunition.