Iraqiya split over PM nominee?

Oct. 25, 2010 at 12:55 PM
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BAGHDAD, Oct. 25 (UPI) -- Endorsements by the secular Iraqiya slate of Shiite Vice President Adel Abdul Mahdi for prime minister aren't official positions, a spokesman for the bloc said.

Iraq hasn't been able to form a new government since Iraqiya scored a two-seat victory in March 7 parliamentary elections. Rival parties are sparring over who gets to be the next prime minister, president and speaker of parliament.

An Iraqi court during the weekend ordered lawmakers to get to work as Iraq passed 230 days without a new government.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is locked in a battle for power with rival lawmakers, including his vice president. Maliki received key backing from Tehran and anti-American cleric Moqtada Sadr, though Iraqiya said it should get the first crack at forming a new government.

Key Iraqiya members, including Vice President Tariq Hashemi, have endorsed Mahdi for the post of prime minister. Maysoon al-Damluji, the spokeswoman for Iraqiya, said the endorsement were nothing more than personal opinions and "wishful thoughts," the Voices of Iraq news agency reports Monday.

The statements come on the heels of U.S. field reports from Iraq released by the watchdog WikiLeaks group last week that blame Iraqi soldiers for prisoner abuse.

Maliki in response to the leaked documents said it showed outside parties were trying to wreck his chances for another term in office.

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