Iraqi politician: Abadi, Maliki reach consensus over next premier

Baghdad ( Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and Vice President Nuri al-Maliki have reached an agreement regarding the figure to be tipped for heading the country’s next government, a member of Maliki’s coalition was quoted saying Wednesday.

Saudi newspaper al-Watan quoted Mohamed Majid, a member of the State of the Law coalition, saying that “the gap between Abadi and Maliki has been bridged”, adding that both parties had reached “understandings about the selection of a candidate for the post of prime minister”.

Iraqi parliament elections were held mid May, the first after the defeat of Islamic State militants following a three-year war. But several political parties challenged the integrity of the electric voting system, urging a manual recount, which is currently in process. The calls, and ensuing parliament resolutions and  judicial verdicts supporting them, caused a split among political groups.

According to official results, Abadi’s al-Nasr list came third. First came Saeroon list, sponsored by Shia leader Muqtada al-Sadr, a populist seeking to break away from Iranian influence and scathingly opposed to foreign military presence in Iraq. Second came al-Fatah, an alliance of former leaders of the Iran-backed Popular Mobilization Forces, the Shia-led troops that backed government forces campaign, under Abadi, to drive out Islamic State militants since 2014.

Observers believe Maliki, a close ally to Iran and Iraq’s top Shia clergy, has obviously been preparing to return for competition over government premiership, which he lost in 2014 to political and popular pressures after Islamic State militants took over a third of the country.


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