The National Alliance, Iraq’s main grouping of Shi’ite parties, has named the parliamentary vice-president Haider al-Abadi as its candidate for the prime minister’s job.
The move is a blow to current incumbent Nouri al-Maliki, who on Monday was cleared by the Supreme Court to serve a third term, overturning a clause in the constitution.
Al-Maliki appears determined to hold onto power. He has deployed his special forces in the capital in a show of strength, and has demanded that the president offer his State of Law party, as the biggest in parliament, first chance at forming a government. Not to do so, he warned, would mean the president violating the constitution.