BAGHDAD - Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's political coalition has agreed to implement a series of sweeping policies advocated by Moqtada al-Sadr, in a move that reveals the cleric's escalating political power and the fragility of the premier's governing alliance.
On Sept. 5 Sadr released a statement threatening to call for widespread protests unless the government could meet three lofty demands: to give Iraqis a share of oil revenues; to create 50,000 new jobs; and to provide free fuel for all electricity generators. On Wednesday evening, leaders of the National Alliance — a broad coalition of Shiite parties that forms the foundation of Maliki's support in Parliament — held an internal coalition meeting and voted to satisfy those demands.
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