Iraqi PM Abadi to seek re-election in May vote

Iraq’s Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi speaks during a ceremony in Najaf, Iraq January 7, 2018. (Reuters)
Updated 14 January 2018
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Iraqi PM Abadi to seek re-election in May vote

BAGHDAD: Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi announced on Sunday his candidacy for the May 12 parliamentary elections to choose a prime minister.
Abadi, a Shiite Muslim who led the country in the four-year war against Daesh, said he will seek to form a cross-sectarian block called “the victory alliance” to contest the parliamentary elections, with candidates from other communities.
Abadi took over the premiership in 2014 from Nuri Al-Maliki, a close ally of Iran widely criticized by Iraqi politicians for the army’s collapse as Daesh militants swept through a third of Iraq.
Maliki, who heads the Shiite Dawa party, announced on Saturday he will be running in the elections.
Abadi is a Dawa member but he didn’t secure Maliki’s endorsement for his candidacy. Al-Maliki said on Saturday Dawa supporters will be free to choose between his alliance, called “state of law,” and Abadi’s “victory alliance.”
Abadi is credited for quickly rebuilding the army and defeating Daesh in its main Iraqi stronghold, Mosul, last July, with strong assistance from a US-led coalition.
Maliki holds the ceremonial title of vice president. He remains a powerful political figure as head of the Dawa and the largest political block in the current parliament.
The prime minister’s office is reserved for Iraq’s majority Shiite Arab community under a power-sharing system set up after the 2003 U.S-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein, a Sunni Arab.
The largely ceremonial office of president is reserved for a Kurdish member of parliament. The speaker of parliament is drawn from Sunni Arab MPs.
The parliament is yet to approve the May 12 date for the elections.


Libya seeks UN help as militia fighting kills 10

Updated 23 September 2018
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Libya seeks UN help as militia fighting kills 10

  • Libya’s internationally recognized government has called on the UN to take “concrete and effective” action to protect civilians and halt the fighting.

BENGHAZI: The latest bout of fighting between rival militias in the capital Tripoli has left 10 people dead.

The medical authorities said 59 people were also wounded when fighting erupted the previous day, taking the death toll to 106 since armed conflict first began there late last month. Friday’s fighting further strained a cease-fire that has been in force since Sept. 4. They said a total of 18 people remain missing.

Libya’s internationally recognized government has called on the UN to take “concrete and effective” action to protect civilians and halt the fighting. The Government of National Accord (GNA) called on the UN mission to “present the Security Council with the reality of the bloody events in Libya so that it can ... protect the lives and property of civilians”.

Libya slid into chaos after the 2011 uprising that overthrew longtime dictator Muammar Qaddafi and led to his death. It’s governed by rival authorities, based in Tripoli and the country’s east, each backed by an array of militias.