Al-Maliki's party says premier remains sole candidate amid deadlock
Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki remains his party's sole candidate for the premiership in the country's new government, a party official confirmed Sunday, despite fierce opposition from other parliamentary blocs, dpa reported.
The country has been without a firm government for over four months, owing to the ongoing debates.
"There is no reason yet to search for an alternative candidate, and we firmly back our nominee Nuri al-Maliki to head the next government," Farouq Abdullah, a member of al-Maliki's State of Law bloc in parliament, told the German Press Agency dpa.
Negotiations in Iraq, which went to the polls on March 7, have failed to produce a governing coalition, and since the elections parliament has only met once, for just 20 minutes.
The Iraqi National List, the current partner with al-Maliki's bloc, has said it would not back the partnership further unless another candidate for the premiership was chosen.
Even if the two parties did agree, they would still be four seats shy of the majority needed to govern the country.
The coalition crisis in Iraq has drawn criticism from many circles in the country, as services, such as water and power, were failing and no governmental solutions could be implemented.
Parliament tried to convene last week to choose the country's top three posts - the president, prime minister and speaker of the house - but failed to achieve a quorum of legislators. A new date for a future meeting of the house has not been set.