The Shia leader of the Dawa party, who became prime minister in 2006, Nouri al-Maliki was initially seen as the compromise candidate, a somewhat weak leader who was acceptable to all factions, and possibly viewed as someone who could be controlled.
NOURI AL-MALIKI: Iraqi politician. PM of Iraq from 2006-2014. Secretary-general of the Islamic Dawa Party and has been VP of Iraq since 2014. Malaki succeeded the Iraqi Transitional Government. Maliki began his political career as a Shia dissident under Saddam Hussein's regime in the late 1970s and rose to prominence after he fled a death sentence into exile for 24 years. In late 2014, Maliki accused the US of using ISIL as a pretext to maintain its military presence in Iraq.