Iraq PM Maliki likely to win support for second term

Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki appeared likely to win a second term, breaking an eight-month deadlock over a new government, after winning support on Wednesday from members of the main factions.

Baghdad: Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki appeared likely to win a second term, breaking an eight-month deadlock over a new government, after winning support on Wednesday from members of the main factions.

Politicians from Shi`ite-led, Sunni-backed and Kurdish factions said they were ready to support Maliki when Parliament meets on Thursday, and to take part in his government even if some members of the cross-sectarian Iraqiya alliance, including its leader former premier Iyad Allawi, refused to join.

Iraq has been without a new government since an inconclusive election on March 7 which gave Sunni-backed Iraqiya two more seats than Maliki`s bloc. Neither had enough seats for a majority in parliament, leaving Shi`ite, Sunni and Kurdish factions to negotiate a government.

Kadhim al-Shimari, a member of a bloc within Iraqiya, said on Wednesday his group, with more than 30 seats, would support Maliki`s bid to speed up formation of a new government.

"We will join the parliament session and support the nomination of Maliki to form the government," he said. "The issue of forming a new government cannot be delayed any more."

The long impasse has fuelled tensions even though the sectarian carnage unleashed after the 2003 US-led invasion is receding and while US forces prepare to withdraw in 2011.

Bureau Report

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