Maliki to Be Named Iraq PM, Ending Impasse

Iraq’s president is expected to officially name Nouri al-Maliki to a second term as prime minister Thursday, ending a political stalemate that has paralyzed the country since general elections in March.President Jalal Talabani was to have named Mr. Maliki as prime minister last Sunday, but delayed the decision to give the incumbent more time to negotiate ministerial posts with his rivals in the fractious parliament.If Mr. Maliki fails to produce a new government within a month, Iraq’s president is required under the constitution to nominate another candidate.

The re-selection of Mr. Talabani, a longtime Kurdish leader, and Mr. Maliki, a Shi’ite, to their posts and the naming of a Sunni Arab as speaker of parliament came after a November 10 power-sharing pact.The accord also calls for former Prime Minister Ayad Allawi, head of the Sunni-backed Iraqiya coalition, to head a newly created committee overseeing national security.Mr. Allawi’s alliance won the most seats in inconclusive March elections but was unable to gain enough support from other parties to create a majority coalition.Iraqiya’s inability to find political partners allowed Mr. Maliki, who partnered with anti-American Shi’ite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr in an Iranian-backed coalition, to gain momentum and support – Voanews