Maliki continues to seek third term as prime minister as Iraqi government crisis continues
BAGHDAD, Iraq - Incumbent Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's Dawa Party has rejected the nomination of rival Haider al-Abadi as the new Iraqi prime minister.
Khalalaf Abdul Samad, a member from the party said in televised comments on Monday that the State of Law Coalition of Maliki had the largest presence in parliament and would only accept Maliki as premier - the victor of the April 30 general elections.
Abdul Samad said Abadi, also a member of Dawa Party, did not represent the bloc, but himself.
Abadi was nominated earlier in the day as prime minister by the Shiite National Alliance, the largest group in parliament, which had formerly supported Maliki.
The move led to President Fuad Masum inviting Abadi to create a government.
The bypassing of Maliki, who had wanted a third-term as prime minister, came amid rising tensions as security forces supporting him stepped up their presence around key sites in Baghdad on Sunday evening.
Maliki has served as prime minister since 2006 but has lost the backing of many supporters, including the United States, over his refusal to commit to a unity government including Sunnis and Kurds.
His sectarian attitude is also being blamed as the reason for the advance of militants from the Islamic State, formerly known as ISIL, on Iraqi territory since June, with little resistance from Sunni regions.
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