BAGHDAD, April 22 (Xinhua) -- Iraqi president Jalal Talabani
asked Shiite politician Jawad al-Maliki to form the next government on
"I would like to inform the
brothers and sisters that we decided unanimously to endorse our dear brother
Nouri Jawad al-Maliki to head the cabinet," Talabani said in parliament. Al-Maliki has 30
days to present his cabinet list to parliament for approval.
This move put an end to the long political impasse
over prime minister nominee, which blocked the formation of a coalition
government over four months after the historic parliamentary elections.
The majority Shiite alliance decided on Friday to
name al-Maliki as candidate for the premiership after the outgoing Prime
Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari was forced to withdraw his candidacy because of
strong opposition from Sunni and Kurdish parties.
Moments earlier, the Iraqi parliament reelected Jalal
Talabani,a veteran Kurdish politician, as Iraq's president shortly after Sunni
Arab politician Mahmoud al-Mashhadani was elected the new parliament speaker.
The 275-seat Iraqi parliament convened its second
session in Baghdad's heavily-fortified Green Zone on Saturday since a formal
parliamentary election were held on Dec. 15 last year. Adnan Pachachi, the
oldest member and acting speaker of the parliament, called the session "a
crucial step in Iraq's democratic process".
Mahmoud al-Mashhadani won 159 votes out of the 266
lawmakers who were present at the session with 10 abstained and 97 votes
This session was postponed twice last week to give
more time to break the deadlock over prime minister nominee.