Iraq’s ruling Shi’ite Islamist alliance has nominated the incumbent Ibrahim al-Jaafari as candidate for prime minister. It ends weeks of wrangling that have delayed the start of talks for the formation of a new Iraqi governmemt. The United Iraqi Alliance is the biggest bloc in the recently elected Iraqi parliament with 128 of the 275 seats. It has consequently fallen to the UIA to nominate a new prime minister, but inter-alliance rivalries have prevented agreement on a candidate.Al-Jaafari narrowly beat his rival, vice-president Adel Abdul Mahdi by 64 votes to 63. He is seen as being a unifying figure but also sympathetic to US concerns having been backed by Washington to head the out-going interim governmemt. Al-Jaafari is now set to lead the first full term Iraqi government since the fall of Saddam Hussein three years ago.