Senior officials in Iraq's main Shi'ite alliance say the group has selected interim Vice President Ibrahim al-Jaafari as its candidate for prime minister.
Today's (Tuesday's) announcement came after three days of marathon negotiations, and after another United Iraqi Alliance candidate, Ahmed Chalabi, withdrew his candidacy.
The alliance won 48 percent of the vote in last month's elections, and gained 140 seats in the 275-member National Assembly.
Mr. al-Jaafari, a physician, still faces a challenge from incumbent Prime Minister Iyad Allawi. However, Mr. Allawi's party slate failed to win more than 14 percent of the January 30th vote.
In other developments, a car bomb explosion near an Iraqi troop convoy in Baghdad killed two Iraqi soldiers and wounded more than 20 others.
Authorities in Iraq say a car bomb explosion in Baghdad has killed two Iraqi soldiers and wounded more than 20 others.
Police say blast occurred today (Tuesday) as an Iraqi troop convoy was leaving the city's heavily fortified Green Zone compound.
Monday, three U.S. soldiers were killed and eight others wounded in a bomb attack in southwest Baghdad. And, an American Marine was killed in al-Anbar province, where U.S. and Iraqi forces are continuing operations against insurgents.
Meanwhile, Australia announced today it will send 450 more troops to southern Iraq to help provide security to Japanese engineers working there. Australia currently has almost 900 troops in Iraq.
On the political front, leaders of the winning coalition in last month's Iraqi elections (the United Iraqi Alliance) are holding talks in Baghdad on who will be the next prime minister.