First Published: 2010-08-31


Iraq's Hakim sees end to political impasse 'in days'


Iraq Shiite leader refuses to be drawn on name of next prime minister of war-torn country.


Middle East Online

'We have started to reach the end of the tunnel'

KUWAIT CITY - An Iraqi Shiite leader, Ammar al-Hakim, said on Monday the long-delayed formation of a new government could be resolved within days but refused to be drawn on the name of the next prime minister.

"We have started to reach the end of the tunnel. In the next few days, we are heading toward resolving the issue and accelerating the formation of a new cabinet," Hakim told a news conference in Kuwait City.

Hakim, who heads the Supreme Iraqi Islamic Council, declined to say if his election coalition Iraqi National Alliance (INA), which came third in Iraq's March 7 legislative poll, would support Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki.

"So far, there has been no agreement on any specific name" to be the next prime minister, Hakim said, asked if his group would support Maliki for a second term.

"But this is what we are going to resolve in the coming days ... INA has been, and is still negotiating, for an acceptable personality. We are still hearing clear and significant opposition" to Maliki, he said.

Hakim proposed "a broad-based coalition government. It is not possible for a group, party or sect to take over the country and leave out others."

His group has called for roundtable talks between parties, added the influential Shiite leader, who said he had met with Kuwaiti leaders including the emir and the prime minister.


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