BAGHDAD, July 15 (UPI) -- The majority of the political parties jockeying to form a new government oppose a second term for Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, Shiite leaders said.
Iraqi leaders have been unable to form a new government since March 7 elections. Former interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi led his secular Iraqiya slate to a narrow victory, though he failed to secure the 163-seat majority needed in the Council of Representatives to form a new government alone.
Maliki negotiated a partnership with Shiite rivals in the Iraqi National Alliance that was four seats shy of the 163-seat majority, though talks collapsed over a candidate for prime minister.
Ali Shubar, an INA lawmaker from Babil province, told the National Iraqi News Agency that his party, Iraqiya and Kurdish leaders rejected a second term for Maliki.
"Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has consumed his full chances in performing his constitutional duties during the last four years and should be replaced by another figure who would be approved by political entities," he was quoted as saying.
Iraqi lawmakers were to have their second session since March 7 elections Wednesday but delayed meetings for two weeks while political negotiations continued.