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Iraqi PM Abadi to seek re-election in May vote

From Reuters - January 13, 2018

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced on Sunday his candidacy for the May 12 parliamentary elections to choose a prime minister.

Abadi, a Shiite Muslim who led the country in the four-year war against Islamic State, said he will seek to form a cross-sectarian block called 'the victory alliance to contest the parliamentary elections, with candidates from other communities.

Abadi took over the premiership in 2014 from Nuri al-Maliki, a close ally of Iran widely criticized by Iraqi politicians for the armys collapse as Islamic State militants swept through a third of Iraq.

Maliki, who heads the Shiite Dawa party, announced on Saturday he will be running in the elections.

Abadi is a Dawa member but he didnt secure Malikis endorsement for his candidacy. Maliki said on Saturday Dawa supporters will be free to choose between his alliance, called 'state of law', and Abadis 'victory alliance.

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