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, Iraq, May 20, 2018.
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, Iraq, May 20, 2018.

BAGHDAD - 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.