Iraq’s prime minister Nouri al-Maliki has split from his Shi’ite Muslim partners and is seeking to form a multi-party list to contest the upcoming elections.
He is determined to broaden his power base by inviting members of the Kurdish and Sunni Muslim communities to take a greater role in his Dawa party. The Shi’ite coalition that will now line up against al-Maliki includes followers of cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, and is headed by the influential Supreme Islamic Iraq council. The Iraqi National Alliance, as it is called publicly, regretted al-Maliki’s absence and says its doors remain open for his return. Al-Maliki is seeking to carry parliament and the country in January by appealing to all sections of Iraqi society, but Shi’ite rivalry could lead to more violence as factions jostle for power.