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Power vacuum in Iraq leads to threats from pro-Iran faction

Pro-Iran factions in Iraq worry that they could lose their political sway, having failed to keep one prime minister in power, then failing in their attempt to replace him, as they recognize the next candidate could be selected from outside their political circle with the support of Kurds, Sunnis and Shiite rivals.
A member of Hashd al-Shaabi (paramilitary forces) holds a flag of Kataib Hezbollah militia group during a protest to condemn air strikes on their bases, in Baghdad, Iraq December 31, 2019. REUTERS/Khalid al-Mousily - RC2E6E9TSWK4

BAGHDAD — The post of prime minister in Iraq is proving to be a tough gig.

Mohammed Tawfiq Allawi, who was designated to become prime minister with the support of pro-Iranian forces in Iraq, withdrew his candidacy March 2 after he failed to form a government within the constitutionally mandated 30-day deadline. Now those forces are looking back over their shoulders at caretaker Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi, thinking he might be their best hope to retain influence in Iraq. However, Abdul Mahdi said March 2 that he is taking a voluntary absence from the post.

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