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Iraqi PM Announces Coalition With Elections Winner


FILE - In this photo provided by the Iraqi government, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, right, and Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr hold a press conference in Baghdad, May 20, 2018.

Iraq's Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi and Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr are announcing a political coalition amid talks to form a new government.

Al-Sadr's political bloc won the largest share of seats in May parliamentary elections. He has already joined in a coalition with the second-place bloc led by Hadi al-Amiri, a Shiite militia leader who has the support of Iran.

Al-Abadi's bloc came in third in the polls.

Al-Sadr and al-Abadi announced their new alignment at a press conference Saturday, without mentioning the coalition with al-Amiri.

Both al-Abadi and al-Amiri are said to be eyeing the position of prime minister in a new government. Al-Sadr, who is not a member of Parliament, is not.

Talks to form a new government are expected to continue for weeks or months.

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