New boss same as the old boss?
AP--BAGHDAD, Iraq — Shiite politicians agreed Friday to nominate Jawad al-Maliki as prime minister, replacing the incumbent in a bid to clear the way for a long-delayed new government, two Shiite officials said.
Al-Maliki is a top ally of outgoing Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari, whose nomination had sparked sharp opposition from Sunni Arab and Kurdish leaders and caused a deadlock lasting months.
Leaders of the seven parties that make up the Shiite alliance agreed on al-Maliki's nomination in a meeting Friday evening, said Jalal Eddin al-Sagheer, a member of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, the largest party in the alliance.
Al-Maliki won the nomination with agreement from six of the parties, said another SCIRI official, Ridha Jawad Taqi. The seventh party, Fadhila, had presented its own candidate, but only five of seven parties were needed to win a "consensus" agreement on a nominee.
The Shiite nominee is to be presented to a session of parliament on Saturday.
If Sunni Arab and Kurdish parties accept al-Maliki — and some have indicated they will — it could be a breakthrough in the two-month standoff that has prevented the forming of a national unity government.
It's curious that the Sunnis, Kurds etc are silent on this nomination. Will be interesting to see what happens as it is less than 24 hours before the Iraqi Parliment convenes to vote on these nominees. I'll update when I get more background information on al-Maliki.