BAGHDAD - A bloc comprising Iraq's biggest Shi'ite parties is close to nominating a prime minister, the deputy speaker of parliament said on Monday, suggesting Nuri al-Maliki would have to step aside.

Haider al-Abadi's comments in a tweet came after police sources said special forces and Shi'ite militias loyal to Maliki had been deployed in strategic areas of Baghdad after he made a defiant speech on television suggesting he would not cave in to pressure to drop his bid for a third term.

Abadi is one of the people that has been mentioned as a possible successor to Maliki.

Please LIKE our Facebook page - it makes us stronger