"According to the Iraqi constitution, if parliament succeeds in electing a new speaker and two deputies, the next step should be choosing a new president within the next 30 days."
Baghdad, July 4 - Iraq's incumbent Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki Friday denied he was withdrawing his candidacy for a third term in office.

I will never abandon my candidacy for the post of prime minister as the Coalition of the State of Law is the largest bloc that has the right to assume the premier post, Xinhua quoted Maliki as saying in a statement broadcast on state media.

No party has the right to put conditions, which is dictatorial act which we strongly reject, the statement said.

Earlier, the outgoing Parliament Speaker Osama al-Nujaifi said in a statement that he withdrew his candidacy for the speaker's post after Maliki put Nujaifi's withdrawal as a condition to withdraw his nomination for the premier's post.

The latest move by Maliki could prolong the country's political deadlock as parliament is scheduled to hold its next session Tuesday after the lawmakers in the first parliament meeting July 1 failed to agree on electing a new speaker and two deputies.

According to the Iraqi constitution, if parliament succeeds in electing a new speaker and two deputies, the next step should be choosing a new president within the next 30 days.

Following that, the new head of state will have half-a-month to ask the bloc with the most lawmakers to nominate a prime minister who will be responsible for forming a new government. The duration for the prime minister-designate to select his cabinet members and present the list to parliament is 30 days.


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