By Vicki Needham - 07/06/14 10:45 AM EDT
Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) said he doesn’t think Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is capable of uniting his country amid growing turmoil.
“In retrospect, probably both administrations put too much confidence in him,” Casey said on “Fox News Sunday.”
“We would hope, although we can’t dictate that, the Iraqi people would choose a new leader to lead them forward,” he said.
“He has not had a government that has been inclusive. He’s not taken the steps that are necessary to have a government of national unity.”
On Friday, al-Maliki vowed to seek a third term in office, despite intensifying pressure for him to step aside.
There is increasing concern that his attempt to stay in office could lead to a further escalation of the political impasse gripping Iraq that threatens to cut the nation along three ethnic and sectarian lines.
Still, he pledged to stay on until he defeats Islamic militants who have taken over much of the country.
Al-Maliki, a Shiite who has been prime minister since 2006, has been accused of monopolizing power and failing to work toward a resolution with Sunnis.
His State of Law bloc won a majority of the parliamentary seats in April elections, but he failed to win a majority in the legislature, meaning he needs help to form a government.