Iraqi Shia parliamentary bloc elects 'Ammar al-Hakim' as new leader

Iraqi Shia parliamentary bloc elects 'Ammar al-Hakim' as new leader

The National Alliance, an Iraqi Shia parliamentary bloc, has elected Ammar al-Hakim as its leader, according to informed sources.

(AhlulBayt News Agency) - The National Alliance, an Iraqi Shia parliamentary bloc, has elected Ammar al-Hakim as its leader, according to informed sources.

"National Alliance leaders voted unanimously Sunday night to appoint Ammar al-Hakim as alliance president," a source close to Ibrahim al-Jaafari, a former alliance head, told Anadolu Agency on condition of anonymity due to the issue’s sensitivity.

The largest bloc in parliament, the National Alliance controls 180 of the assembly’s 328 seats and is therefore responsible for naming the prime minister.

The appointment came at the end of a meeting held by the alliance’s members to discuss a number of political and security issues on Sunday.

Hakim will now be replacing Iraq’s Foreign Minister and former Prime Minister Ibrahim Jaafari as the head of the alliance, Iraq’s al-Sumaria news website reported.

Its main components are the State of Law coalition led by former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki; the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq (ISCI), an Iranian-backed political party led by al-Hakim; the Ahrar Bloc led by prominent Iraqi Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr; and the National Reform Trend led by al-Jaafari, Iraq’s current foreign minister and a previous National Alliance leader.

In a Monday statement, the ISCI confirmed that al-Hakim had been chosen to head up the National Alliance, which over the last two years has been riven by difference between the State of Law coalition and al-Sadr’s Ahrar Bloc.

Over the past few months, hundreds of Iraqis have been gathering at Tahrir (Liberation) Square in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, and elsewhere in the country every Friday, urging the containment of corruption and also the formation of a technocrat government in the country.

On May 20, Abadi called on the nation to set aside political differences and unite against the Takfiri Daesh terrorist group, which has been ravaging the country since June 2014.



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