Iraq Shiite bloc names alternative to Maliki as PM candidate

Iraq`s National Alliance parliamentary bloc has chosen Haidar al-Abadi as its nominee for prime minister in place of incumbent Nuri al-Maliki, sources in parliament said today.

Baghdad: Iraq`s National Alliance parliamentary bloc has chosen Haidar al-Abadi as its nominee for prime minister in place of incumbent Nuri al-Maliki, sources in parliament said today.

"The National Alliance has named Haidar al-Abadi as its candidate for prime minister," a lawmaker said. Several other sources in parliament confirmed the decision.

The man who could become Iraq`s next prime minister is the current first deputy speaker of parliament. He was born in Baghdad in 1952 and holds a PhD from the University of Manchester.

Iraqi President Fuad Masum has to ask the nominee of parliament`s largest bloc to form a government, a move that has been delayed by spiralling sectarian strife and intense political wrangling.

There has been a long-standing dispute as to which of Maliki`s own State of Law coalition and the broader National Alliance could constitutionally be considered the largest bloc.

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