April 17, 2006

Ibrahim al-Jaafari


From AP: Shiite Party Sticking With al-Jaafari.

The political snarl over choosing Iraq's new government tightened Monday as Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari's party indicated it was standing firm for him to keep the post for a second term despite opposition from Sunni Arabs and Kurds.

Ali al-Adeeb, a top official in the Dawa party, said the group would not put forward anyone else as the Shiite Muslim nominee for premier unless al-Jaafari decided to step aside.

The announcement pointed to further delays in negotiations to form a broad-based government, an effort that has stumbled along for four months since the Dec. 15 parliamentary elections.

An alliance of seven Shiite parties has deferred to Dawa to decide whether the bloc should stand with its February decision to nominate al-Jaafari to head the new government. Sunnis and Kurds oppose him, saying he has failed to stop the recent surge in sectarian bloodshed, and neither side has enough votes to force a decision.

The standoff over al-Jaafari forced Iraqi officials to call off a plan for convening parliament Monday.

"Dawa cannot present any candidate unless al-Jaafari decides to step aside," al-Adeeb told The Associated Press. "So far his position has not changed. If he decides to quit, then Dawa will try to agree (by consensus) on a candidate. If not, we will resort to voting."

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Posted by Forkum at April 17, 2006 09:34 PM