BAGHDAD, Dec. 13 (UPI) -- Former interim Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi is set to become chairman of a new national council in the next government, sources in his party said.
Allawi led his Iraqiya slate to a narrow victory in March parliamentary elections, though he was unable to get the backing needed to become Iraq's next prime minister. Second-term Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has only a few days left before a constitutional deadline to form a new government.
Sources in Allawi's Iraqiya slate told London's pan-Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat that Allawi will serve as he chairman of the new National Council for Strategic Policies, a council formed in part to check the power of the prime minister.
Members of Iraqiya will also get the defense, labor, finance and perhaps six other ministerial positions. The Oil Ministry is also slated for Iraqiya, party leaders said last week.
The new government includes three vice presidents and three deputy prime ministers. Lawmakers loyal to anti-American Shiite cleric Moqtada Sadr are expected to fill one of the deputy prime minister positions. Kurds and Iraqiya would take the other two.
Iraqi election law gives Dec. 24 as the deadline to form a new government.