Iraq's rival politicians meet first time since polls

18:11, June 13, 2010      

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The leaders of two rival political blocs held their first meeting since the March 7 parliamentary elections, a government statement said on Sunday.

Outgoing Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, head of State of Law coalition and former Prime Minister Ayad Allawi, head of secular Iraqia List, met on Saturday evening under tight security measures at the building of the Council of Ministers in the Green Zone.

A statement issued by al-Maliki's office described the meeting as "friendly and positive," which was held just two days before the new parliament's first session due to be held on Monday.

The statement gave no evident sign of any breakthrough in the debate over who will have the right to run Iraq's new government.

Allawi's secular list won the most 91 seats in the March 7 parliamentary elections, two seats more than the State of Law alliance led by al-Maliki.

After the announcement of Allawi's victory in the preliminary results late March, the Iraqi federal court gave an interpretation to the expression of "largest bloc" in the disputed article 76 of the constitution, saying it means the largest number of seats for either the bloc that wins the elections or the coalition of blocs that could be formed before the first session of the new parliament.

The court's interpretation gave the green light for al-Maliki to join the Shiite religious bloc of INA, which garnered 70 seats of the 325-seat parliament, to form the largest bloc with a combined 159 seats.

However, Allawi's Iraqia List rejected the interpretation, saying the court is not qualified to interpret the constitution.

Allawi has said the interpretation was non-binding and politically motivated and that the "largest bloc" means the bloc which garners the highest number of seats by polls.

The new legislature is scheduled to convene on Monday after the Iraqi Supreme Court ratified the results of the March elections on June 1.

According to Iraq's constitution, the president must convene the new parliament within 15 days from the date of the ratification of the election results.

Source: Xinhua


(Editor:黄硕)

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