Sadrists go to polls for next Iraqi PM (2)

21:33, April 02, 2010      

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The call for the referendum came as Maliki is in a fierce struggle with Allawi to form the largest bloc in the next parliament after Iraq's federal court gave an interpretation to the expression of "largest bloc" in the disputed article 76 of the constitution.

Allawi considered the court's interpretation as non-binding and was politically motivated.

Both Allawi and Maliki need the support from other powerful blocs to garner more than 163 seats in the new parliament to form a government. Negotiations between different parties are currently under way.

It was widely believed that Sadr would not back up Maliki since the incumbent prime minister cracked down on the Sadrist militia in southern Iraq two years ago.

Analysts said the referendum would give Sadr an camouflage to choose others for the post of prime minister.

According to the schedule, the referendum will last for two days.

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(Editor:梁军)

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