Iraq to announce new government
Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki rejected calls from the U.S. to form a national salvation government (File/AFP)
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Iraq's National Coalition, which holds most of the seats in parliament, is set to announce its candidates for the premiership post to form a new government.
A spokesman for the Coalition said on Sunday that incumbent Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, former prime minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari, former vice president Adel Abdul Mahdi, as well as the current security adviser Faleh al-Fayad are among the possible candidates.
This is while leader of the Iraqi national congress Ahmad al-Chalabi and a senior member of Maliki’s party al-Daawa, Tarq Najem, are the other candidates.
Under a de facto agreement among communities in Iraq, the prime minister is a Shia Arab, the president a Kurd and the parliament speaker a Sunni Arab.
Earlier on Saturday, Iraq’s grand Ayatollah Seyyed Ali al-Sistani called on political leaders to choose a new prime minister by Tuesday, when the first session of the newly elected parliament will be held.
Premier al-Maliki has rejected recent calls by the United States and its allies to form an emergency administration or a so-called national salvation government in the country.
The Iraqi premier said on Wednesday that a salvation government would amount to a coup against the country’s constitution and would undermine the results of parliamentary elections held on April 30.
The developments come as Iraqi armed forces have been engaged in fierce clashes with the terrorists, who have threatened to take their acts of violence to other Iraqi cities, including the capital, Baghdad. However, advances by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) have been slowed down as Iraqi military and volunteer forces have begun engaging them on several fronts.
Premier al-Maliki has stressed that his government remains steadfast in defeating the ISIL militants, blaming Saudi Arabia, Qatar and some Arab states of the Persian Gulf for the growing terrorism in his country.