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Iraqi PM candidate in Syria amid deadlock

Iraqi PM candidate in Syria amid deadlock

A leading candidate in the contested race to lead Iraq's new government has traveled to Syria for talks amid increasing frustration over the political deadlock.
Former Prime Minister Ayad Allawi narrowly defeated Prime Minister Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's Shiite-dominated bloc in the March elections. But no single group has pulled together enough support to name a new prime minister and start assembling a government.
Allawi told AP early Wednesday that his coalition will not take part in any government headed by al-Maliki.
Also in Damascus this week is Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, who also leads a political group that has opposed keeping al-Maliki in power.
The meetings appear to be part of a flurry of dealmaking to find ways of forming a government.