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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iraqi Shi'ite Politicians Consider Two Candidates for Prime Minister

21 April 2006

Iraqi Shi'ite politicians are considering two candidates for prime minister, after current Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari stepped aside from the stalled process of forming a government.

The two names being circulated are Jawad al-Maliki and Ali al-Adeeb. Both are members of Mr. Jaafari's Dawa party.

Mr. Jaafari said in a televised speech on Thursday that the Shi'ite bloc should decide who it wants to be prime minister. He said he could not accept being an obstacle in the democratic process.

Mr. Jaafari's previous refusal to step aside had blocked efforts to form a unity government. Kurdish and Sunni Arab factions had demanded that he step down, arguing that he had not done enough to end sectarian violence.

The United States has been urging Iraq's political leaders to form a government including Shi'ites, Sunni Arabs and Kurds.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.

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