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Iraq Government Negotiations May Be Protracted

Al-Ja'fari is the candidate of the top vote-getter in the 30 January elections 25 February 2005 -- Ibrahim al-Ja'fari, the candidate of the Shi'a United Iraqi Alliance for the the post of prime minister, held talks with the country's top Shi'a cleric today on ways to include all parties in politics.

Al-Ja'fari, who heads the Islamic Al-Da'wah Party, told reporters after meeting with Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani in Al-Najaf that the formation of the next government requires more "consultation and consensus."

Al-Ja'fari and other politicians are jockeying for the top positions in the next government after last month's parliamentary elections.

Al-Ja'fari called for bringing the Sunni minority into the political process. Sunni Iraqis, who make up 20 percent of the population, largely boycotted the elections.

He also said that al-Sistani has endorsed his nomination for prime minister. However, this was not immediately confirmed by al-Sistani's camp.


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".