Sadr withdraws from Maliki's coalition
The political movement loyal to radical Shia cleric Moqtada Sadr has withdrawn from Iraq's governing Shia alliance.
The move deprives Prime Minister Nouri Maliki's coalition of 30 votes - leaving it in control of about half the seats in parliament.
Technically, this leaves the Maliki coalition short of a majority (AP), but there are many small, unaffiliated Shia parties that will likely vote with him on most issues. His bloc is now extremely reliant on the Kurds.
(I would guess Sadr is trying to claim the nationalist/anti-American mantle as well as drawing distance with the increasingly unpopular Maliki government.)