May 4, 2010
Iraq’s two big Shi’ite political coalitions, one led by Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and one whose leaders have close ties to Iran, agreed on Tuesday on an alliance to form a single bloc in parliament, officials said.
- A d v e r t i s e m e n t
But the two groups have not yet agreed on the contentious issue of a nominee for prime minister, the major stumbling block in talks so far, an official with Maliki’s State of Law said.
The announcement, nearly two months after a parliamentary election Iraqis hoped would bring stability after years of war, could signify a breakthrough in stalled negotiations to form the next government amid fears of renewed sectarian violence.
But the union of Maliki’s State of Law, which took 89 seats in the March 7 parliamentary election, and the Iraqi National Alliance which won 70, could also heighten tension.