By QASSIM ABDUL-ZAHRA
BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq’s caretaker prime minister has held a meeting of senior political leaders and party representatives in an effort to end a monthslong crisis amid a power struggle between rival Shiite blocs. But the party of influential Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr did not attend the gathering on Wednesday. Its absence effectively undermined the effort to resolve Iraq’s 10-month crisis. Al-Sadr won most votes in elections last October but has been unable to form a government without his Iran-backed Shiite rivals. He has demanded that parliament be dissolved and early elections held.