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Iraqi Shi'a Coalition Nominates Al-Ja'fari For Premier

Ibrahim al-Ja'fari (file photo) 22 February 2005 -- The Shi'a alliance that won the parliamentary elections in Iraq has nominated Ibrahim al-Ja'fari for prime minister.

Leaders of the United Iraqi Alliance said al-Ja'fari (see Profile:Ibrahim al-Ja'fari) was chosen today after his challenger from inside the alliance, Ahmad Chalabi, withdrew his candidacy.

Al-Ja'fari said at a news conference that if he becomes prime minister, he will work to improve the capability of security forces and increase their numbers.

Al-Ja'fari, head of the Islamic Al-Da'wah Party and interim vice president, still faces a challenge from interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi.

But Allawi's political group won only 14 percent of the vote in last month's election for the 275-member National Assembly. The United Iraqi Alliance won the most seats and has insisted it must have the prime minister's job.

A two-thirds majority is required in the National Assembly to confirm the new prime minister and his cabinet.


For the latest news and analysis on Iraq, see RFE/RL's webpage on "The New Iraq".

For news, background, and analysis on Iraq's historic 30 January elections, see RFE/RL's webpage "Iraq Votes 2005".