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Middle east

FRANCE 24 Interview: Iraqi PM Nuri al-Maliki

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2010-03-07

With just four days to go before Iraq's key parliamentary elections, Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki tells FRANCE 24 why he has no doubt his coalition will win.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said he was “certain” of victory in the country’s March 7 parliamentary election, in an exclusive interview with FRANCE 24.

The election, the second parliamentary poll since a US-led invasion of the country in 2003, is seen as a key test of the country’s fledgling democracy.

Close to 19 million Iraqis are summoned to the polls on Sunday to choose between 6,100 candidates for parliament.

According to an opinion poll carried out by the country’s national media centre, which is controlled by the prime minister’s office, Maliki’s State of Law alliance is expected to pick up 29.9% of the vote, followed by the secular bloc led by former interim prime minister Iyad Allawi on 21.8%.

Maliki, 59, said there was no doubt his State of Law alliance would win the election, though he acknowledged it would be difficult to secure an outright majority of seats in parliament.

"It will definitely be hard to win the 163 seats required and that is why we must make alliances with other parties to form a government," he said.

Iraq’s prime minister warned outside powers against seeking to influence the outcome of the poll. “There is no doubt people are interfering from outside,” he said. “But they should remember that we can influence their politics as well.”

Maliki also stressed that Iraq’s police and army would be ready in time for the planned withdrawal of US troops, set to be completed by the end of 2011.

Despite a recent surge in violence across the country, Maliki said Iraqis could be “proud” of what had been achieved so far.
 

Date created : 2010-03-03

  • 2010 Iraqi parliamentary elections

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