April 2, 2010


Moqtada Sadr holds referendum on Iraq prime minister (BBC, 4/02/10)

"The political situation is complicated and [Moqtada Sadr] has always said that the best advisers are the Iraqi people," Hazem al-Araji, one of the movement's leaders, told the AFP newsagency.

The two biggest contenders, led by the incumbent Prime Minister Nouri Maliki, and the secular challenger Iyad Allawi, who came out narrowly ahead, are highly unlikely to work together.

That leaves the third-ranking bloc, the Iraqi National Coalition, which has 70 seats, as the king-makers. Moqtada Sadr's faction won 40 seats, the biggest share of that coalition's seats.

The referendum offers a choice of five candidates, all of them Shia Muslims - Mr Maliki, Mr Allawi, former PM Ibrahim Jaafari, Vice President Adel Abdel Mahdi and Jaafar Sadr, the son of an assassinated ayatollah.

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 2, 2010 6:36 AM
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