Followers of Shiite preacher Muqtada al-Sadr attend open-air Friday prayers in the Shiite stronghold of Sadr City, Baghdad, Friday, July 4, 2014. (AP Photo/Karim Kadim)
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Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's coalition should withdraw its support for his third term bid and pick another candidate, Shiite preacher Muqtada al-Sadr urged, amid parliamentary deadlock over the formation of a new government."It is necessary to demonstrate the national and paternal spirit by aiming for a higher, wider goal from individuals and blocs and by that I mean changing the candidates," said Sadr, who gained political influence during the U.S. occupation.The radical preacher and his political allies had previously advocated the next prime minister be chosen from outside of Maliki's State of Law coalition.State of Law is part of the National Alliance, a bloc comprising the country's biggest Shi'ite parties, including both Maliki's list and his foes.
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