Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Chalabi's Out

Wow, for awhile it looked like he was actually going to pull it off:

BAGHDAD, Iraq - Interim Iraqi Vice President Ibrahim al-Jaafari was chosen Tuesday to be his Shiite ticket's candidate for prime minister after Ahmad Chalabi dropped his bid, senior alliance officials said.

Pressure from within the ranks of the winning United Iraqi Alliance forced the withdrawal of Chalabi, a one-time Pentagon (news - web sites) favorite, said Hussein al-Moussai from the Shiite Political Council, an umbrella group for 38 Shiite parties.

"They wanted him to withdraw. They didn't want to push the vote to a secret ballot," al-Moussawi said.

The 140 members were to put the decision between Chalabi and al-Jaafari to a secret ballot by Tuesday's end.