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Iraq's Talabani calls for new government

June 14, 2010 at 11:36 AM
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BAGHDAD, June 14 (UPI) -- Iraqi President Jalal Talabani will call on a grand Shiite coalition to form a new government, a member of the State of Law party said Monday.

The second parliament since Saddam Hussein was removed from power in 2003 had its first session Monday.

No single bloc won the majority needed in March 7 national elections to unilaterally form a new government. A coalition announced last week between the State of Law slate of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and the Iraqi National Alliance is four seats short of the 163 needed to form a new government.

Hassan al-Sanied, a member of State of Law, told the Voices of Iraq news agency that Talabani would call on the grand Shiite coalition to form the next government.

"The president will ask the new alliance to form the government as it is the largest parliamentary bloc," he said.

Maysoon al-Damluji, the spokeswoman for the secular Iraqiya slate, complained during the weekend that the INA-State of Law coalition was an obstruction to Iraqi law.

Iraqiya says that as the bloc with the most votes in the March 7 contest, it has the right to form a new government according to the constitution.

Damluji said the new Shiite coalition has no political standing because the alliance was announced after the election.

The report from the Voices of Iraq added parliament adjourned after about 30 minutes.

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