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Victorious Iraqi Party Chooses Prime Minister

Ibrahim al-Ja'fari (file photo) (RFE/RL) 12 February 2006 -- Iraq's dominant Shi'ite alliance nominated today incumbent Ibrahim al-Ja'fari as its candidate for prime minister of the first full-term government since the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003.

Al-Ja'fari won a United Iraqi Alliance vote today nearly two months after the 15 December parliamentary elections, narrowly beating out Vice President Adil Abd al-Mahdi.

Under the constitution, the next president will ask the alliance, the biggest bloc in parliament, to name a prime minister, to be approved by parliament. The next president will be selected along with the two vice presidents when parliament convenes for the first time, some time in the next few weeks.

Also today, the outgoing president, Jalal Talabani, said that his Kurdistan Coalition will not support the next government if secularist former Prime Minister Iyad Allawi's Iraqi National List is not brought into it.

Meanwhile, multiple bomb blasts and gun attacks killed at least three people and wounded at least 20 others across Iraq.

The U.S. military said insurgents fired a mortar into Baghdad's heavily fortified Green Zone, but there were no injuries. The Green Zone is home to the U.S. Embassy and the Iraqi government.


Iraq's Kurdish Region

Iraq's Kurdish Region

KURDISH AWAKENING: The ethnic Kurdish region in the northern part of Iraq has struggled in recent years to reestablish its cultural and political identity after decades of oppression under the regime of deposed Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. In December, RFE/RL correspondent Charles Recknagel traveled to this area and filed several reports:

Relative Peace Underscores Issue Of Kurdish Region's Future

Kurdish Culture Begins To Flourish In Kurdistan Region

Kurds Ponder How To Strengthen Autonomy After Elections

Irbil’s Kurds Live On A Hill Of Undiscovered Treasures

THE COMPLETE STORY: RFE/RL's complete coverage of events in Iraq and that country's ongoing transition.