Shi'ite Muslims perform Friday prayers at the Imam Hussein shrine in the holy city of Kerbala, Iraq May 4, 2018. REUTERS/Abdullah Dhiaa Al-Deen
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Iraq's powerful top Shiite religious scholar suggested Friday that he had not abandoned his opposition to ex-Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, who is bidding to return to power in elections on May 12 .Sistani successfully blocked Maliki from taking the premiership after winning the 2014 election, paving the way for the appointment of the current prime minister, Haider al-Abadi.The May 12 election is shaping up as a three-way contest between Abadi, Maliki and Hadi al-Amiri, a former transportation minister who bolstered his clout during the war on Daesh as the commander of Shiite paramilitary forces aligned with Abadi's government.Maliki, who holds the ceremonial position of vice president, remains one of the most influential Shiite politicians in his capacity as leader of the Dawa Party.
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