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Talabani is still the strongest candidate for president's office

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Talabani is still the strongest candidate for president's office

Post  Shilo on Sun Aug 08, 2010 8:58 am

Talabani is still the strongest candidate for president's office

August 8th



Baghdad, Aug. 8, (AKnews) – No political bloc has informed the Kurdistan Blocs Coalition (KBC) that the office of the Iraqi president is off-limit to the Kurds, in particular outgoing President Jalal Talabani, said an official of the KBC on Sunday.

Mahmoud Othman, a prominent Kurdish lawmaker, said up to date other than Jalal Talabani there is no other nominee for the president’s post.

Talabani was elected as president in 2005. He is nominated by the Kurds to retain the largely-ceremonial office for another four-year term.

The calls from Kurds for Talabani to stay in office comes as the outgoing Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki visits Erbil for talks with Kurdish leaders.

After suspending talks for over a week, a team of Kurdish representatives in Baghdad commenced significant negotiations this week with other political blocs in order to form a new government for the country, said Othman.

According to the lawmaker, the KBC "has certain fixed principles” and it does not have strong objections against any party or person when it comes to holding the prime minister’s office.

“The Kurds refuse the marginalization of any component in the political process.”

Othman said the forthcoming government must be committed to the articles of the constitution and federalism. He also stated future decision making processes must be based on political consensus.

A delegation of Kurdish negotiators held talks last month in Baghdad with the major blocs of al-Iraqiya and State of Law Coalition (SLC) but did not arrive at an agreement.

Al-Iraqiya, led by former Prime Minister Ayad Allawi came first in last March’s parliamentary elections with 91 seats. The SLC, led by Maliki came second with 89 seats.

The constituting parties of the KBC have agreed on a common platform as the basis of their future alliances with other Iraqi factions.

The country’s political blocs have been mired in a deadlock situation after five months of intense talks. The groups have not been able to agree on a candidate for the prime minister’s post.

As the political crisis continues, the country has witnessed a rise in violence prompting fears that further delay could negatively affect the country’s security situation.

Maliki’s government claim to be in charge of the circumstances saying the political turmoil will not affect its handling of the security situation.

Washington also is concerned that the stalemate might negatively impact the timetable for withdrawing its troops from the country.

The U.S. military it expected to withdraw its combat troops from Iraq by the end of August, but around 50,000 troops will be left behind to act as advisors to the Iraqi military until the end of 2011.
http://www.aknews.com/en/aknews/4/171770/
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