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Iraqi President Opposes Second Al-Ja'fari Premiership

Iraqi President Talabani (file photo) (RFE/RL) PRAGUE, March 4, 2006 (RFE/RL) -- Iraqi President Jalal Talabani said today he opposes a second term for Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Ja'fari.

Talabani said that the dominant Shi'ite coalition -- the United Iraqi Alliance -- must choose a candidate other than al-Ja'fari to form the next government, a candidate who is "unanimously agreed on by Iraqis."

"The main mission now is to form a firm, national unity government of all the factions who won in the elections,
one that will manage state affairs by sharing, and in accordance on principal issues," the president said.

Talabani called for the process of forming a government to be accelerated. Iraq held parliamentary elections on December 15.

Talabani, who is also a prominent Kurdish leader, spoke after Kurdish, Sunni, and some secular parties on March 2 strongly criticized al-Ja'fari. The Kurdish parties sent a letter to the United Iraqi Alliance demanding it choose another candidate to lead its efforts to form the next government.

(with agency reports)

RFE/RL Iraq Report

RFE/RL Iraq Report

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