BAGHDAD, Aug. 11 (Xinhua) -- Iraqi President Fuad Masoum on Monday asked Haidar al-Abadi, deputy speaker of the Parliament, to form the next government, the official television reported.
The state-run Iraqiya channel showed Masoum signing the letter, granting Abadi, the Shiite coalition's nominee for prime minister, the power to form the next government.
The Iraqi Speaker Salim al-Jubouri and Ibrahim al-Jaafari, the head of the Iraqi National Allaince, were present at the televised meeting.
Abadi thanked Masoum and pledged to do his best in the coming time within one month, a time span stipulated in the constitution.
He called on all Iraqis to unite in fighting against the extremist Islamic State militants which swept large areas in northern and western the country.
"We all have to cooperate to fight back the terrorist campaign waged on Iraq and to stop all terrorist groups," he said during the ceremony just after Masoum asked him to form a cabinet.
Abadi, 62, is the head of political office for the Islamic Dawa Party, headed by the outgoing Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki. He became a member of the party in 1967 and a member of its executive leadership in 1979. Saddam Hussien's Baath regime executed two of his brothers and imprisoned a third for ten years. He lived in exile in London during the reign of Saddam Hussein.
He was appointed minister of communications in the Iraqi Governing Council in 2003, and was elected member of Iraqi Parliament in 2005. Later, he chaired the parliamentary committee for economy, investment and reconstruction. In 2010 he was re- elected as a parliament member, and in 2013, he chaired the finance parliamentary committee.
Earlier, the Shiite lawmakers in the umbrella organization the Iraqi National Alliance, which includes Maliki's State of the Law bloc, sent a letter signed by 127 lawmakers, out of more than 170 members in the alliance, to the Iraqi President Masoum, nominating Abadi to replace Maliki.
On July 24, Iraqi lawmakers elected Masoum as the new president, marking an important step toward in forming a new government in the violence-torn country.
Within two weeks after the new president is elected, he must ask the "largest bloc" in the parliament to nominate a prime minister to form a new government, according to Iraq's constitution.
During the day, the state-run Iraqiya channel reported that the Iraqi federal court ruled Maliki's bloc is the largest one in parliament, giving an impression that such a rule would pave the way for Maliki to stay on as prime minister.
later on, the court said on its official website that its rule was a repetition to its earlier interpretation to Article 76 of the Iraqi constitution, which mentioned the expression of largest bloc without further specification.
Late on Sunday, Maliki said that he will file a legal complaint against Masoum for violating the constitution by refraining from asking his State of Law Coalition to form the next cabinet after the end of the 15-day constitutional timing.
Following Maliki's tough speech, Iraqi security forces intensified measures across the Iraqi capital of Baghdad. The special forces loyal to Maliki were deployed in strategic areas in Baghdad, in particular the areas surrounding the Green Zone, which houses most Iraqi top offices and ministries, as well as the U.S. embassy.
The deployment of the special forces would send a signal to Maliki's political rivals that "he is not willing to retreat from seeking a third-term in office," Jamaa Diwan, a lawmaker from Ahrar parliamentary bloc, loyal to Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, told reporters.
Maliki has been under increasing pressure to give up his attempt for a third term, as the National Alliance, a Shiite bloc, which includes Maliki's State of the Law, sees that the next prime minister must be accepted by other political partners from Kurds and Sunnis.