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Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki’s coalition should withdraw its support for his third term bid and pick another candidate, urged Shi’ite Muslim cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, amid parliamentary deadlock over the formation of a new government. Maliki has come under mounting pressure since Islamic State extremist militants rampaged through the north and west of the country last month and declared a mediaeval-style caliphate on land they and other armed groups captured in Iraq and Syria. In a statement published on his website late on Saturday, Sadr said Maliki “has involved himself and us in long security quarrels and big political crises” and suggested that preventing Maliki from serving a third term would be a “welcome step”.



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