Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced on Sunday his candidacy for the May 12 parliamentary elections to choose a prime minister.
In a statement, the Prime Ministry's press office said: "PM Abadi forms the Victory Coalition, calling on political groups to join this supra-sectarian national coalition".
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Maliki is the head of Dawa Party, the backbone of the ruling Shiite National alliance that includes nearly all prominent Iraqi Shiite parties.
Dawa Party neutralists say that this separation offers diversity will benefit the party and for the State of Law Coalition, because there are those who support Abadi and do not back Maliki, and vice versa.
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Abadi is credited for quickly rebuilding the army and defeating Islamic State in its main Iraqi stronghold, Mosul, last July, with strong assistance from a US -led coalition.
The prime minister's office is reserved for Iraq's majority Shi'ite Arab community under a power-sharing system set up after the 2003 U.S-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein, a Sunni Arab.
Baghdad bombing kills 8, wounds 10
They added that all those killed were civilians and several police officers were among the wounded. A suicide bombing killed eight and wounded at least 10 others, Iraqi officials said on Saturday.
Iraq's Cabinet has proposed elections for May 12, a date that awaits final parliamentary approval.