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  Updated: August 23, 2010

Marje As-Sistaniís rep warns of political impasse

By: Ismail Zabeeh

KARBALA, Iraq: Ayatollah Sayyed Ali al-Husseini As-Sistaniís representative in the holy city of Karbala has warned that the country's prolonged political stalemate could prompt suffering people to turn violent.

Abdel-Mahdi al-Karbalaei was addressing thousands of worshippers during the traditional Friday sermon.

He said: "We warn of the dangerous implications and dire consequences in all fields if there is no sign of a breakthrough or a glimmer of hope to form a new government soon".

Al-Karbalaei also warned about possible violent reactions by Iraqis "who have endured suffering." It is not clear "until when they will be patient," he said.

More than five months have passed since Iraqis went to the polls, but talks between the main political parties remain in disarray.

No group won an outright majority in the March 7 election and all attempts to form a ruling coalition have failed. The new parliament has since held only one session, which lasted just 20 minutes.

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