Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and his predecessor, Nouri al-Maliki, will run in the upcoming elections on two separate roasters, despite both taking part in the Islamic Dawa Party.
Iraqi Prime Minister announced in December previous year that the war against Daesh was over, saying that Iraq's border with Syria had been completely secured.
In the previous parliamentary election of 2014, "State of Law" took most of the votes. The alliance was formed after four years of fighting against Islamic State (IS), and it positions itself as a cross-sectarian block, with candidates from various ethnic and religious backgrounds from across Iraq.
In December, Abadi declared victory in the three-year war by Iraqi forces to expel the jihadists from vast swathes of territory they had seized north and west of Baghdad - almost one third of the country.
Abadi gained popularity riding on his success in defeating the radical Islamist group, which ruled over a third of Iraq since 2014, and for rebuilding the Iraqi Army.
Al-Abadi called on Iraqis planning to compete in the polls to join what he referred to as his "victory" list. The latter was heavily criticized for being a close ally of Iran and was blamed for the Iraqi Army's collapse in 2014 following the emergence of IS in the north of the country.
Maliki, who heads the Shiite Dawa party, announced on Saturday that he would be running in the election. Maliki said on Saturday that Dawa supporters would be free to choose between his "State of Law" alliance and Abadi's Victory Alliance.
Al-Abadi is also a Dawa member, but he did not secure al-Maliki's endorsement for his candidacy. Mr Al Maliki, who now serves as one of three vice presidents and is head of the Shiite Dawa party, is a close ally of Iran.
The prime minister's office is reserved for the Shiite Arabs under a power-sharing system set up after the 2003 U.S-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein.
The largely ceremonial office of president is reserved for a Kurdish member of parliament.
It led many Sunnis in northern Iraq to initially welcome IS as liberators.
Iraq's cabinet has proposed elections for 12 May, a date that awaits final parliamentary approval. Abadi's government has insisted the elections be held on time.