Iraqi political blocs end eight-month political deadlock

19:45, November 11, 2010      

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Iraqi political blocs reached a power-sharing deal after more than eight months since the country' s parliamentary elections, politicians said on Thursday.

After three days of tough negotiations, the Iraqi politicians brokered a deal Wednesday night that granted the incumbent Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki another four-year term, Hassan al-Senied, a Shiite lawmaker, told reporters.

"The political blocs agreed to nominate al-Maliki for the premiership, Talabani for presidency and the Iraqia bloc will nominate its candidates for the speaker post and the presidency of the National Council for Strategic Policies," Senied said.

Maliki was in fierce fighting for another term in power but he was facing bitter resistance from his rival Ayad Allawi, head of cross-sectarian political bloc which gained narrow win with two seats ahead of Maliki's bloc in the March 7 parliamentary elections.

Meanwhile, an Iraqia politician, who asked not to be named, told Xinhua that his "bloc will hold a meeting before the parliament session today to nominate its candidates for its two posts (presidency of the National Council for Strategic Policies). "

"It is widely believed among politicians in the Iraqia bloc that Ayad Allawi will be nominated for the National Council for Strategic Policies and Ossama al-Nuhaifi for the speaker," the politician said.

The National Council for Strategic Policies is a new council with authority over security issues, which is created as a concession to Allawi's bloc which fought for the prime minister post as it was the winner in March 7 polls.

Iraqia bloc also won another concession from its rivals when they decided to end a ban on some Iraqia Sunni leaders previously imposed on them by the Accountability and Justice Commission, which is in charge of vetting candidates for ties to Saddam Hussein's Baath party and preventing them from participation in the political life.

"The political blocs also agreed on Wednesday night meeting to lift ban from Sunni political leaders Saleh al-Mutlak, Dhafir al- Ani," the politician said.

The Iraqi parliament will hold its session at local time 3:00 p. m. (1200 GMT) and will be chaired by the elder speaker Fuad Masom.

According to the Iraqi constitution, the parliament must elect its new speaker and his two deputies in the first session. Then the parliament under the new speaker must elect a new president who will later call on the candidate of the largest bloc for the prime minister post to form his cabinet.

However, the Iraqi parliamentary blocs insist to agree on the names of president, parliament speaker and prime minister, as one package before resuming the parliament session.

Source: Xinhua


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