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Shi'ite Coalition Wants Prime Minister Job

6 February 2005 -- Officials of parties in the Iraqi religious Shi'ite Muslim led-coalition say the coalition is seeking the prime minister's post in Iraq's new government.

The officials spoke to news agencies as results from about 35 percent of the 30 January elections showed the United Iraqi Alliance winning some two-thirds of the votes for the 275-seat national assembly.

The bloc led by current interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi, a secular Shi'ite, is in second place.

Sunni Muslims groups who refused to take part in the elections have expressed a willingness to participate in drafting the new Iraqi constitution.

But spokesman Omar Ragheb of the Sunni Muslim Scholars Association said one condition would be that a consensus was found among all political parties on the withdrawal from Iraq of U.S.-led forces.

More than 20 Iraqis and three U.S. soldiers were reported killed yesterday in the latest violence in Iraq.


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