A source in the Office of the President of the Republic in Iraq told Al-Jazeera that there is no formal or unofficial agreement so far on the nomination of a candidate for prime minister for the next stage, succeeding the resigned Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi.
The source added - who asked not to be named - that the parliamentary blocs, especially the Shiite ones, are not yet in agreement with a specific candidate, and that lack of agreement means not going to present any name to Parliament.
The source said that the past two days witnessed the circulation of the name of a candidate for prime minister, and was presented by some blocs to the president informally, but the opposition of the other blocs from within the Shiite alliance to the name of the candidate aborted this endeavor.
The political blocs in Iraq are locked in these days last minute negotiations to nominate a new candidate to form the transitional government, following the resignation of the previous government headed by Adel Abdul Mahdi early this month.
These consultations and meetings come at a time when Baghdad and nine governorates are witnessing since the beginning of last October, unprecedented demonstrations and sit-ins in the history of Iraq, to demand a change in the political process and legislation for a new election law to form a new government.
And there is only 48 hours left for the Iraqi president to complete the constitutional deadline for nominating a candidate to form the new government, or for him to assume the post of prime minister in addition to his position as president of the country.
While the blocs and parties are looking for a candidate from within the current political structure, the demonstrators are demanding an independent candidate from outside the political process, which is accepted and supported by the Supreme Shiite authority in Iraq, and also by the Shiite leader Muqtada al-Sadr.
The names of all the candidates for the new position were categorically rejected by the blocs and parties, and banners and statements circulated in the demonstration squares called for the nomination of the Lieutenant General Abdul-Ghani Al-Asadi, the Lieutenant General Abdul-Wahab Al-Saadi, Judge Rahim Al-Ugaili, Dr. Sinan Al-Shabibi, and the politician Mohammed Allawi.
The assassination of an activist
These developments coincided with the assassination of an activist in the anti-government protests and the ruling political class in the country, and the injury of two others - one - in two attacks in the capital, Baghdad, and the city of Diwaniyah (south), according to two security sources.
"The activist of the Baghdad protests, Haqi Ismail Al-Azzawi, was assassinated by unknown armed men while he was riding his bike in the Al-Shaab area, north of the capital," an officer with the rank of first lieutenant in the Baghdad police told Anadolu - preferring not to be named.
The officer added that "Al-Azzawi owns a travel and tourism company and is one of the activists in the popular protests."