Iraq Takes Step Closer to Forming Government

Nouri al-Maliki has made progress in his bid to retain power, having secured the backing of the main Shi’ite parliamentary bloc for his re-nomination for the post of Prime Minister.

He notably received support from the self-exiled, hard-line cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, leading to increased concerns amongst the Sunni population.

Al-Maliki still requires the support of other MPs in order to secure a majority in the parliament, with the Kurdish representatives holding the balance of power.

Given the fraught relations between Baghdad and Erbil, especially with regard to oil contracts and exports, negotiations between the parties could be extremely difficult, and doubtless will take considerably more time to resolve.

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