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Iranian-backed Hashd Shaabi leader won't run for premiership

hadi al-ameri
Hadi al-Ameri – Hadi Mizban/AP
Hadi al-Ameri, a leading figure in the Iranian-backed Hashd Shaaby Iraqi paramilitary force, has withdrawn his candidacy for the prime minister post, few days ahead of forming a new government, easing the current political stagnation in the country.

"I would like to announce to the dear Iraqi people the withdrawal of my candidacy for prime minister, to open the way for serious dialogue to elect a prime minister and his government according to the vision of the (Shia) supreme religious authority," Ameri said in a Tuesday news conference.

Ameri’s coalition has been vying to build the largest bloc which would form the government, with him as prime minister.

Ameri stressed the significance of political consensus to make progress in the political process.

The Hashd al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilization Forces) was created by the government in 2014, after a call to jihad by the spiritual leader of the Shia community, Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani, to help in the fight against IS. The alliance is composed of political groups tied to Iran-backed Shiite militias.

"There is no choice but going to political consensus in the political process, and the preference of the public interest on the private one," Ameri added. “"We do not cling to power, but we abide by the constitutional procedures.”

It is pertinent to mention that Ameri’s Alliance has been in advanced talks with Shiite cleric Moqtada Al Sadr to form a new alliance in recent days.

On Sept. 13, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi also said he will not hold onto his post for a second term; "We do not cling to power, but we abide by the constitutional procedures," Abadi said at a press conference after a cabinet meeting, adding that the decision was made after what he has seen "from the political conflict over this post."

Recently, the Iraqi Parliament elected Mohammed al-Halbousi as Parliament Speaker and his two deputies. Halbousi set Sept. 25 as the date of the next parliament session and announced the opening of nomination for Iraq’s presidency.

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