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Iraq Lawmakers Deny Parliament Is Set to Be Dissolved

Jan. 4 (Bloomberg) -- Two Iraqi officials denied a television report that the parliament will be dissolved within 48 hours, leaving Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to govern as a caretaker.

Al-Arabiya television cited a statement it said was issued by the prime minister’s State of Law bloc. The report was disputed today by Khalid al-Asadi, a lawmaker who is a senior member of that bloc.

“It is not true,” he said in a telephone interview. “The State of Law didn’t ask to dissolve the parliament. But when any party asks for dissolving the parliament and dissolve the government and call for early election, we will not stand against it.”

Izzat al-Shahbender, a senior aide to Maliki and a lawmaker, said that “this was one of options we discussed in the National Iraqi Alliance, which we have raised long ago, but we didn’t issue a statement.”

Maliki suggested an early election during an interview Dec. 30 with al-Sumaria local television.

To contact the reporters on this story: Zaid Sabah Abd Alhamid in Washington at zalhamid@bloomberg.net; Khalid Al-Ansary in Baghdad at kalansary@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew J. Barden at barden@bloomberg.net

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