Iraq's prime minister says his party will not compromise on its choice of who will run the next government.

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said Saturday his State of Law coalition insists that he should lead the government and his party would not agree to another head in negotiations to form a new government.

Iraq held parliamentary elections nearly three months ago, but none of the political groups won enough seats for a clear majority.

Mr. Maliki's coalition came in second with 89 seats, while former Prime Minister Ayad Allawi's bloc won 91.  

One hundred sixty-three seats are needed for a majority, so Mr. Maliki's group has reached out to third-largest seat winner Iraqi National Alliance, which includes anti-American Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr.  

Sadr supporters in the group dislike Mr. Maliki because the prime minister's government forces crushed their militia in 2008.

On Thursday, The Arab League warned Iraqi politicians that they needed to form a new government soon.

There are concerns about the stability of Iraq because the United States is scheduled to withdraw all forces from Iraq by the end of next year.

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden has said the U.S. plans to reduce troop levels in Iraq to 50,000 in the coming months, even if officials there fail to form a new government.


Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.

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