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Pressure on Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki to step aside had become unbearable. Sunnis, Kurds, fellow Shi’ites, regional power broker Iran and the United States all wanted him out.. Officials have said that in the end the choice to replace al-Maliki came down to former Maliki lieutenant Haider al-Abadi, a deputy speaker of parliament. Abadi was selected because all parties agreed the low-key figure got along with leaders of the Kurdish minority and had a decent chance of appeasing Sunni Muslims, whose disgust with Maliki prompted some to join the Islamic State militants. Abadi also appealed to religious leaders and others because the engineer appears not to be motivated purely by political ambition.



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