- Title: IRAQ: Shi'ite Alliance party ready to nominate a new Iraq PM.
- Date: 12th April 2006
- Summary: (W2) BAGHDAD, IRAQ (APRIL 11, 2006)(POOL-ACCESS ALL): MEMBERS OF FADHILA PARTY GIVING PRESS CONFERENCE
- Embargoed: 27th April 2006 13:00
- Location: Iraq
- Country: Iraq
- Topics: Domestic Politics
- Reuters ID: LVAUNKRP6WHZEW5N98VHD0OZTWG
- Aspect Ratio:
- Story Text: Ibrahim al-Jaafari's stubborn fight to stay on as the main Shi'ite Alliance's choice for Iraq's prime minister looked all but certain to end as a party in the bloc said on Tuesday it was ready to offer a replacement.
The Fadhila party is not a powerful force in the Alliance but its public stance will step up pressure on decision-makers in the bloc to drop Jaafari and start considering other candidates to break a deadlock over a new government.
"If the Iraqi Alliance cannot nominate Jaafari, anyone from the Alliance can present their own candidate who they see as the right person to save the political process and get us out of this impasse," Fadhila spokesman Sabah al-Saadi told a news conference.
The stalemate since December elections has seen Iraq slide closer to all-out civil war, with sectarian bloodshed and the emergence of militia death squads adding to the woes of Iraqis already demoralised by insurgent suicide bombings and attacks.
Saadi told Reuters the Alliance was expected to make a final decision in a meeting on Tuesday.
"If the Iraqi Alliance is not successful in nominating Doctor Ibrahim al-Jaafari, then the Fadhila party will nominate its own candidate, whose name we will not give now," said al-Saadi.
Fadhila leader Nadim al-Jaberi himself withdrew from February's internal ballot only at the last moment and has since promoted himself as a compromise candidate accepted by all of Iraq's major communities.
"Everybody is thinking of the good of the country, and wants to solve the security and political problems of the country. Everybody feels patriotic and realises the necessity of working seriously to form a government, which is what the people are impatiently waiting for. Therefore the other groups that form the Iraqi Alliance and that support al-Jaafari, we think that we will be involved in ongoing discussions with them to find a candidate whom all the Iraqi Alliance groups will support, and who we will be acceptable to those within and outside the Alliance, God willing," he added.
The Alliance is expected to drop Jaafari in the face of intense pressure from Kurdish and Sunni politicians as well as Shi'ite leaders in his own ranks who fiercely oppose him.
But bloc officials fear removing Jaafari could split the bloc at a time when Iraq needs a united leadership to tackle insurgent violence and ease sectarian tensions.
Jaafari's critics -- including some in his bloc -- accuse him of monopolising power and governing ineffectively.
President George W. Bush again put the United States' weight behind growing calls for Iraqi leaders to bury their differences and form postwar Iraq's first full-term government four months after parliamentary elections.
Delaying the formation of a government creates a vacuum that "terrorists" can exploit and slow down progress, he said.
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak hit a raw nerve among Iraqis after he said on Saturday (April 8) civil war had started in Iraq.
Iraq's Shi'ite-led government, eager to project an image of unity, criticised Mubarak for saying Shi'ites were more loyal to non-Arab Iran than to their own Arab countries, echoing accusations made by Sunni Arabs in Iraq.
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