IraqMiddle East

Maliki likely to remain Iraq prime minister

363276_Nouri-al-Maliki

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is expected to remain in office for a third term with his party having reportedly won a majority of the seats in the April 30 parliamentary elections.

The Independent High Electoral Commission is set to publish the vote results later on Monday; however, reports say that Maliki’s State of Law party has won about 100 seats at the parliament.

The party, however, reportedly fell short of a majority and needs the support of smaller parties such as those of Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, and Kurdish regional President Massud Barzani.

The formation of the Iraqi government is anticipated to take months as the president and the speaker of parliament should also be selected.

Under a de facto agreement among communities in Iraq, the prime minister is a Shia Arab, the president a Kurd and the parliament speaker a Sunni Arab.

The election commission said on Saturday that the delay in the counting of ballots was due to a series of complaints.

The Iraqi officials said earlier this month that the turnout in the elections was about 60 percent, with the Kurdish province of Irbil having the highest turnout of 90 percent.

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