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Iraq Shi'ite bloc to hold new vote for PM nominee

By Staff
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BAGHDAD, Apr 20 (Reuters) Iraq's Shi'ite Alliance today said it would hold a new internal vote for nominee for prime minister, raising the possibility that Ibrahim al-Jaafari will be pushed aside to end a deadlock over the government.

''The general chamber in the Alliance will vote on this issue as it did previously. That will be soon,'' Alliance member Hussain al-Shahristani told a news conference.

Jaafari's refusal to step down as the Alliance's nominee for prime minister has deadlocked the formation of a government, raising fears in Washington that the political vacuum would fuel violence and exacerbate sectarian tensions.

Ali al-Adeeb is one name that the Alliance has floated as a replacement for Jaafari, who said earlier that he was willing to step aside at the request of the Shi'ite bloc, which forms the biggest bloc in parliament and is entitled to nominate a prime minister.

REUTERS SHB KP1854

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