Iraq's most influential Shiite cleric was not consulted about an accord between rival Shiite political groups that gives him and other senior members of the religious hierarchy the final ward on their disputes, his office said Thursday. According to the AP, an aide of Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani said the cleric's office had no prior knowledge of the agreement that sets down conditions for unity between the Shiite political blocs, including the referee role for the marjaiya, the Shiite religious hierarchy.
"We were not consulted," the official said. "The agreement was done among the two blocs and we had no knowledge about it before it was announced."
On Tuesday night, the country's rival Shiite groups agreed to unite to form a coalition, making them front-runners to head the new government after 7 March elections.