BAGHDAD, May 29 (Xinhua) -- Iraq's incumbent Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki confirmed on Saturday he is the sole candidate to head the next government.
After his meeting with Shiite leader Grand Ayatollah Ali al- Sistani in the holy Shiite city of Najaf Saturday, Maliki said in a news conference "the State of Law still insists on its nominee for the next prime minister post."
Maliki also said that the top spiritual leader does not support any bloc and that he "always stresses that all Iraqi political blocs should return to the constitution and the interpretation of the constitution is the duty of the federal court, not anybody else."
On May 23, Allawi and top leaders of the secular bloc of Iraqia List visited Sistani who told them he has "no veto" against any politician, urging the political blocs to rapidly form a new government.
Maliki's bloc has joined the religious Shiite bloc of Iraqi National Alliance (INA) as part of his struggle to win another term as a prime minister. The move was to guarantee the highest number of seats in the next parliament to form the next government.
Maliki came second with two seats less than the front-runner of March 7 parliamentary elections, the former Prime Minister Ayad Allawi who took the lead with 91 seats. Both leaders have been in a fierce struggle over who will have the right to form the new government.
After announcing Allawi's victory in the preliminary results, Iraq's federal court gave an interpretation to the expression of " largest bloc" in the disputed article 76 of the constitution, saying it means any coalition of blocs that could be formed by collecting the largest number of seats before the first session of the next parliament.
However, Allawi's Iraqia List rejected the federal court's interpretation, saying the court is not qualified to interpret the constitution.
Earlier, Allawi considered the court's interpretation as nonbinding and politically motivated and that the "largest bloc" means the bloc which garnered largest number of seats in the polls.
Iraq's two major Shiite blocs form new coalition
BAGHDAD, May 4 (Xinhua) -- The State of Law alliance led by Iraqi incumbent Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and the Iraqi National Alliance (INA) have formed a coalition, according to a statement released on late Tuesday.
"The two alliances reached an agreement to form a parliamentary bloc," said INA official Abdul-Razzak al-Kazimi at a press conference in Baghdad, adding "the alliance was a major step and would open to other Iraqi national forces." Full story
Maliki's coalition complains about IHEC procedures in Baghdad ballots recount
BAGHDAD, May 3 (Xinhua) -- Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki' s coalition complained Monday about procedures of the Iraqi electoral commission in recounting the ballots of Baghdad province, officials said.
Iraq's Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) started earlier in the day recounting some 2.5 million ballot papers of the March 7 parliamentary elections in the capital. Full story