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Iraqi elections will be about Maliki

Iraqi electoral coalitions are expected to fragment before the upcoming general election in April 2014.
An Iraqi walks past a provincial elections campaign billboard in Baghdad, April 18, 2013. Iraq will hold its provincial elections on Saturday. The billboard reads, "coalition of state of law, determination and construction". REUTERS/Mohammed Ameen (IRAQ - Tags: SOCIETY POLITICS ELECTIONS) - RTXYQSD
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The upcoming Iraqi general election in April 2014 is likely to be characterized by strong intra-sectarian competition, as opposed to previous elections that witnessed rivalries between predominantly Shiite and predominantly Sunni alliances. This is particularly true in the Shiite political arena, where rivalry is centered on three major forces: the State of Law Coalition (SLC), led by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki; the Muqtada al-Sadr current; and the Supreme Islamic Council, headed by Ammar al-Hakim.

Ali Shalah, a SLC lawmaker, recently said that the Shiite National Alliance is probably going to break up into several groups. Previous reports indicated that the political bloc of Deputy Prime Minister Hussein al-Shahristani, Mustaqiluun (Independents) — which is still part of the SLC — is studying the option of entering the elections as a single party.

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