lected as NC candidate for PM post
Saturday, October 2nd 2010 10:47 AM
Baghdad, Oct. 2 (AKnews) - The National Coalition (NC) which includes the Iraqi National Alliance (INA) and the State of Law Coalition (SLC) have officially nominated Nouri al-Maliki for the premiership, bringing to an end weeks of internal wrangling and disagreements over the most coveted position in parliament.
In the joint press conference that followed the coalition’s assembly in Baghdad on Friday, alliance lawmaker, Faleh al-Fayyad announced Maliki’s nomination for a second term in the Prime Minister’s office.
"The NC officially nominates Nouri al-Maliki for the prime minister's post,"
Fayyad reiterated the NC’s intention to resolve the seven month political impasse in Iraq and called for a prompt assembly of all elected parliamentary members.
"The NC will continue its negotiations with all political blocs to form the next government and calls for a parliamentary meeting."
The Supreme Islamic Council of Iraq, led by Ammar al-Hakim, a key bloc from within the INA was notably absent from yesterday’s meeting.
Hakim also heads the Iraqi National Coalition (INA) which came third in the parliamentary elections before merging with the SLC to form the National Coalition.
In September, the INA elected its own candidate for the post of PM, the current Iraqi Vice President Adel Abdul Mahdi, as many factions from within the INA, including the alliance’s leader, Ammar al-Hakim, opposed Maliki’s candidacy saying that the SLC leader has a tendency to act unilaterally.
Over the past week, the ISCI leader boycotted coalition talks to settle the PM candidacy issue within the bloc. The INA previously suspended talks with the SLC in August, also in opposition to Maliki's candidature.
Rifts within the coalition became deeper last week when the Sadrist Current, another key faction from within the INA, agreed to back Maliki in what has been described as a bid to resolve the political impasse that had prevented the Iraqi parliament from being assembled.
Some media sources have claimed that the decision of the Sadrist Current to support Maliki’s candidature made Hakim all the more vehement in his opposition to it, and was behind his decision to boycott the NC meetings.
The head of the military department of the Supreme Islamic Council of Iraq (ISCI) Bader Hadi al-Amiri said during the Friday press-conference that "The ISCI did not attend the meeting but supports the NC and the national consensus."
The Al-Iraqiya list, led by former Prime Minister Ayad Allawi came first in the March 7 elections by securing 91 seats in Parliament. The State of Law Coalition (SLC) led by the outgoing PM Nouri al-Maliki came second with 89 seats, and the Iraqi National Alliance (INA) came third with 70.
In late March, Iraq’s Federal Supreme Court ruled that the bloc that has the highest number of seats when parliament convenes will be entitled to form the government and not the party that won the highest number of seats in the election.
The court’s decision meant that the Sunni-dominated al-Iraqiya list was not automatically entitled to the leadership.
The INA and the SLC, both Shia-dominated lists, merged in May to form the National Coalition (NC) in a bid to gain the parliamentary majority necessary to head the government.
The coalition has 159 seats all together but remains four seats short of the 163-member majority needed.
The talks in Baghdad look set to continue.
In the seven months of political wrangling that have followed the inconclusive March elections, Iraq has witnessed a major hike in insurgent violence across the country as militant groups capitalize on the political impasse that has locked Baghdad in negotiations over the country's leadership.
Reported by Haidar Ibrahimhttp://www.aknews.co...knews/4/185407/
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