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 armyunits into the streets of Baghdad.
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.