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Maliki meets Barzani in Erbil

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Maliki meets Barzani in Erbil

Post  Shilo on Sun Aug 08, 2010 8:54 am

Maliki meets Barzani in Erbil

Sunday, August 8th 2010 2:58 PM



Erbil, Aug. 8 (AKnews) - Iraq’s outgoing Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki arrived in the Kurdish capital of Erbil today as his chances of retaining office are at the lowest point since last March’s parliamentary elections.

Maliki is currently in a meeting with the Kurdistan Region’s President Massoud Barzani, Roj Nouri Shaways, the top Kurdish negotiator in Baghdad and Nechirvan Barzani, the former prime minister of the Kurdish government.

Barzani and Maliki are expected to hold a press conference after the meeting.

Maliki’s visit comes as part of the efforts to form Iraq’s new government and he may be seeking Kurds' support for his second term in office.

One of Iraq’s two major Shia blocs recently delivered a major blow to Maliki’s hopes to retain office after they strongly rejected Maliki’s nomination for the prime minister's position.

Iraq’s political groups have not been able to form a government five months after the country’s parliamentary elections.

The elections did not produce a clear winner paving the way for prolonged talks and deep disagreements over who should head the future government.

Maliki’s State of Law Coalition (SLC), a Shia dominated group, came second with 89 seats.

Although it joined the Iraqi national Alliance, another mostly Shia group, to gain the 163-seat majority to set the future government, after months of uneasy relations and bitter disputes over who should become the next prime minister, the INA recently suspended talks with the SLC.

INA leaders have said they reject Maliki’s candidature because of his alleged tendencies to act unilaterally without consulting his allies.

Several Kurdish groups running in the March elections secured 57 seats, making the Kurds the fourth largest bloc in the national legislature.

The SLC’s main rival, al-Iraqiya came first in the elections with 91 seats. Led by former Prime Minister Ayad Allawi, al-Iraqiya claims it has the constitutional right to form the next cabinet.

So far Iraq’s Constitution has been vague about which group can form the government.

Although many initially thought the group that gained the highest number of votes in the elections was entitled to form the government, Iraq’s Federal Supreme Court ruled in late March that the bloc with the highest number of seats in the parliament was authorized to lead the government.

That meant the country’s blocs could maneuver to form larger coalitions to secure the threshold for setting up the government.

http://www.aknews.com/en/aknews/4/171680/
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