Officials suggested, however, that some progress was made during talks the same day, with the predominantly Shi'ite United Iraqi Alliance agreeing to withdraw its nomination of Ibrahim al-Ja'fari for prime minister. Al-Ja'fari's candidacy was opposed by the Sunni Arabs and Kurds.
But new disagreements reportedly emerged over who should be speaker of parliament.
Violent attacks targeting civilians claimed at least 20 lives in or near the capital on April 16, including attacks on a crowded market and separate bomb and automatic-weapon attacks on two buses.
Gunmen also killed seven workers in the northern city of Mosul.
(compiled from agency reports)
LOOKING FOR A NEW FACE: Two Iraqi parliament deputies on April 2 told RFE/RL's Radio Free Iraq (RFI) that they do not support the nomination of Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Ja'fari to retain his post. Disagreement over the nomination, among other things, has prevented Iraq from forming a government in the wake of legislative elections in December 2005.
"Our Kurdish friends and our friends in the Iraqi Accordance Front have insisted in new messages they sent three days ago on a refusal to deal with the nominee of the United Iraqi Alliance [al-Ja'fari]," said QASIM DAWUD, a parliamentary deputy and a member of the independent bloc within the United Iraqi Alliance. "But I must clearly say that I represent a very broad stream within the alliance that supports a policy [of choosing a nominee other than al-Ja'fari]...." (more)