Iraq Shiite coalition close to nominating prime minister: deputy speaker
Iraq's Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki - REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudani

BAGHDAD:  A bloc comprising Iraq’s biggest Shiite parties is close to nominating a prime minister, the deputy speaker of parliament said on Monday, suggesting Nuri al-Maliki would have to step aside.

Haider al-Abadi’s comments in a tweet came after police sources said special forces and Shiite militias loyal to Maliki had been deployed in strategic areas of Baghdad after he made a defiant speech on television suggesting he would not cave in to pressure to drop his bid for a third term.

Abadi is one of the people that has been mentioned as a possible successor to Maliki.

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