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Iraqi Kurds' rights at the forefront of coalition

IRAQ moved a step closer to the establishment of a new government on Sunday as a number of groups came together to form a new coalition that would have a majority in the country’s parliament.

The winners of May’s general election, the Sairoun coalition — an electoral alliance between Islamic cleric Muqtada al-Sadr and the Iraqi Communist Party — joined forces with the Fatah Coalition, the Iraqi Force Coalition, Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) to form the National Space coalition, according to Iraqi press reports.

An official announcement on the agreement is expected in the next few days and will bring an end to months of negotiations and uncertainty.

Fatah MP Abbas Zamili confirmed the agreement, saying:  “There will be a coalition government. The Kurds’ constitutional rights will be instated. Kurds’ rights will form part of the coalition.”

Former prime minister Nouri al-Maliki is thought to be in the running to lead the country, with current prime minister Haider al-Abadi set to leave the government.

KDP and PUK officials met in Baghdad on Monday to discuss a road map for the future of Iraq and the Kurdistan parliamentary elections which are due on September 30.

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