Iraqi Shi'ite party pickes Ammar al-Hakim as new leader

One of Iraq's main Shi'ite parties on Tuesday appointed the son of its leader Abdul Aziz al-Hakim as his successor after his death last week.

Iraqi Shi'ite party pickes Ammar al-Hakim as new leader
One of Iraq's main Shi'ite parties on Tuesday appointed the son of its leader Abdul Aziz al-Hakim as his successor after his death last week.

Ammar al-Hakim had been groomed for some time to take over the influential Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council (ISCI) from his father, who died on Wednesday in Tehran where he had been receiving treatment for lung cancer. The cleric was buried over the weekend in the holy Iraqi Shi'ite city of Najaf.

"Voting for Ammar al-Hakim is normal because of the symbolism of his family name and the sacrifices that the family made," said ISCI lawmaker Nabil Ismail, who said Ammar al-Hakim had been picked by the party's advisory council.

ISCI has formed a new alliance to compete in January's national polls without Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's smaller Dawa party.

ISCI was founded in Iran in exile during Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein's rule. It has close ties to Iran's rulers.



Reuters
Last Mod: 01 Eylül 2009, 16:43
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