Surprise: Iraq Makes Progress on Government
Maliki likely to get new term, with help from anti-US cleric
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 1, 2010 4:51 PM CDT
In this Monday, July 19, 2010 file photo, Moktada al-Sadr speaks to reporters.   (AP)
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(Newser) – A coalition of Shiite groups supported giving Nouri al-Maliki another term as prime minister, the Washington Post reports. The rare sign of progress came as the country achieved the dubious record of the longest time between an election and the formation of an actual government. Much uncertainty remains, however, and it could take weeks or even months for Maliki to get things in place, notes the New York Times.

Today's progress may not be great news for the US because it would give much political clout to an old nemesis, Moktada al-Sadr, adds the AP. It was his followers, known as Sadrists, who reversed themselves and backed Maliki in a bid to get a share of power in the new government.