Iraq PM bullish on new government

The reality of the Iraqi elections is that it may now be months before progress is possible.

image: AFP

  • Iraq's premier has said he had enough support to keep his post, but with election results not due for weeks and parties bitterly divided, forming a government would probably take months

Channel News Asia
2 May 2014

BAGHDAD: Iraq's premier said on Thursday he had enough support to keep his post, but with election results not due for weeks and parties bitterly divided, forming a government will probably take months.

Nuri al-Maliki, who is seeking a third term in office, will have to court disaffected parties within his own Shiite community, as well as vocal Sunnis and Kurds who angrily oppose his rule, but he expressed confidence following Wednesday's polling.

His remarks to journalists came as new figures showed April was among the bloodiest months since Iraq was embroiled in a brutal Sunni-Shiite sectarian war that left tens of thousands dead in 2006 and 2007.

The protracted surge in bloodshed, with more than 3,000 people killed already this year, is among the long list of complaints, along with rampant corruption, high unemployment, and what government critics say is insufficient improvement in public services.

Preliminary election results are not expected for at least two weeks. Initial election commission figures said around 60 per cent of 20 million eligible people had voted.

The turnout in 2010 was 62 per cent.

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