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Iraqi rivals set to meet again to discuss new government

Arab World Materials 28 June 2010 15:02
Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki is set to meet with his main rival, former premier Iyad Allawi, on Tuesday, for the second time after the March 7 elections.
Iraqi rivals set to meet again to discuss new government

Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki is set to meet with his main rival, former premier Iyad Allawi, on Tuesday, for the second time after the March 7 elections, DPA reported.

The meeting, which comes two weeks after their first attempt to form a new cabinet following the election, "will tackle the process of forming a government and supporting the political process in the country", lawmaker, Hassan al-Saneed was quoted by al-Sabah daily as saying on Monday.

The new parliament held its first session earlier in June, three months following the parliamentarty elections, in which Allawi's Iraqiya List beat the State of Law coalition of al-Maliki by just two seats.

But the session adjourned after some 20 minutes until an unspecified date.

Al-Saneed, a member of al-Maliki's coalition, said that the parliament will resume "its open session again on July 17", as he expected that the al-Maliki-Allawi meeting would "lead to important results that will lead to forming a national government."

Allawi's list won 91 seats in the 325-member parliament, compared to 89 for al-Maliki's alliance. The National Iraqi Alliance came third with 70 seats.

Political tension followed the election results. Both Allawi and al-Maliki are competing to head the future government. Allawi insists he has the right to form a new government because his bloc won the highest number of seats.

Meanwhile, al-Maliki says he has the largest bloc in the parliament with 159 deputies, after forming the National Alliance with the Ammar al-Hakim's Iraqi National List. That total, however, is still four seats short of a majority.

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