Iraq parliament to convene

Iraq's president has invited parliament to convene on 19 March, a day after the powerful Shia Alliance asked for more time to negotiate a national unity government.

    President Talabani has set the date on 19 March

    "The presidency council decided to call on the parliament to convene on Sunday morning of 19 March," said the statement from Jalal Talabani's office.
       
    Iraq's political leaders are deadlocked over who should be prime minister in the new government. Sunnis and Kurds are opposed to Ibrahim al-Jaafari, the Shia prime minister, staying on in the powerful post.
       
    The Shia Alliance, which has close to a majority in the parliament elected in December, said it was determined to resist the efforts to oust al-Jaafari.
       
    Sunni and Kurdish parties accuse al-Jaafari of failing to improve security or prosperity in the year he has been interim prime minister.
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    Al-Jaafari, leader of the Dawa party, won the nomination to lead the new government in an internal ballot of Alliance legislators.
       
    Jawad al-Maliki, a senior Shia Alliance member, said Kurds and Sunnis, who are seeking the presidency and post of speaker of parliament, needed the support of the Shia Alliance for their candidates, a reminder that the parties may need to compromise in order to get what they want.

    SOURCE: Reuters


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