BAGHDAD, July 29 (UPI) -- Reappointing Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki for a second term in office will allay Iranian and U.S. concerns, members of his party said.
Iraqi lawmakers are at a standstill over forming a new government nearly five months after national elections March 7 gave the secular Iraqiya slate of former interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi a narrow victory over Maliki's State of Law coalition.
Parliament has postponed several sessions since the elections to give lawmakers more time to decide on top Cabinet positions, including prime minister.
Izzat al-Shahbandar, a lawmaker from State of Law, told London's pan-Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat that Maliki was the best man for the job.
"Maliki is better suited to lead the government, especially if the Iraqiya bloc and the State of Law coalition ally. (Then) there will be no objection from Iran and the U.S. will not forbid this solution," he said.
Washington maintains it has no preference on the matter. Tehran, meanwhile, is supporting Maliki over Allawi because of the former interim leader's alliance with Sunni leaders.
Mohamed Allawi, a member of Iraqiya, told the newspaper his bloc opposes a second term for Maliki because of "our commitment to a peaceful transfer of power as stated in the Iraqi constitution."