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Iraq’s National Alliance fails to agree on an alternative to Al-Maliki

Leaders of Iraq’s National Alliance failed to reach an agreement on a candidate for the prime minister position to succeed Nouri Al-Maliki, Al-Araby Al-Jadid reported Tuesday.

Meanwhile, prior to the beginning of the first session of the new Iraqi parliament on Tuesday, the leader of the Sadrist movement, Muqtada al-Sadr, advised Al-Maliki to fulfil the demand of the people and his religious partners by stepping down and not running for a third term.

Al-Sadr said in a statement that he expected Tuesday’s session to be crucial, since the Iraqis are “impatiently looking forward to it in order to put an end to their suffering.” He urged all parties to attend the session and “disregard their differences which brought the nation to the abyss of war, hunger and fear.”

Furthermore, Al-Sadr called on all political entities to field candidates for the three posts, and not to pressure any block to choose their candidates. He also called on the Rule of Law Coalition to field a new candidate to lead the cabinet, “for the sake of the interests of Iraq, the sect and Islam.”

Rehab al-Audah, MP for the Rule of Law Coalition, had told Al-Araby Al-Jadid that the National Alliance meeting was scheduled to select one of three candidates: former deputy PM Adel Abdel-Mahdy, current PM Maliki, and chairman of the Iraqi National Congress Ahmed Al-Chelabi.

On Monday, a new political coalition, The Union of Iraqi Forces, was launched, comprising a number of coalitions: Motahedoon (United), Al-Arabeya, Loyalty for Anbar, and Diyala our Identity.

The coalition said in a statement that it represents six embattled provinces: Baghdad, Al Anbar, Salahuddin, Nineveh, Kirkuk, and Diyala. It pointed out that it aims at “bringing about partnership and balance to save Iraq from its current crisis.” It called on the National Alliance to put forward an alternative for Al-Maliki, and to agree on the three government posts to meet the demands of Iraqis.

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