Iraq’s Maliki concedes defeat

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BAGHDAD: Iraq’s divisive premier Nuri al-Maliki dropped his bid to stay in power on Thursday, bowing to huge domestic and international pressure as a jihadist-led offensive threatens to tear the country apart. The two-term premier threw in the towel after an acrimonious political battle and backed his designated successor Haidar al-Abadi, a fellow member of the Shiite party Dawa. “I announce before you today… the withdrawal of my candidacy in favor of the brother Dr. Haidar al-Abadi,” he said in a televised address, with Abadi standing next to him.

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AFP

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