April 2, 2006 -- Amid negotiations among Iraq's main political groups to form a government, some within the ruling Shi'ite alliance are calling on Shi'ite Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Ja'fari to step down.
The United Iraqi Alliance (UIA) earlier nominated al-Ja'fari for a second term as prime minister. His candidacy has been rejected by Iraq's Sunni and Kurdish parties, resulting in weeks of deadlock over forming a government.
Kasim Daud, an independent Shi'ite politician in the UIA, told Reuters that al-Ja'fari should resign to preserve what he called the unity of the Iraqi people.
An aide to al-Ja'fari rejected the call.
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SUNNI, SHI'A: Iraq is riven along sectarian lines, faults that frequently produce violent clashes and are a constant source of tension. Sectarian concerns drive much of Iraqi politics and are the main threat to the country's fragile security environment.
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