Iraqi vice-president Adil Abdul Mahdi said he would be ready to serve as prime minister of his violence-scarred country.
Mahdi unsuccessfully ran for the mainly Shiite United Iraqi Alliance's (UIA) nomination to be prime minister of Iraq's first permanent government against Ibrahim Al-Jaafari in 2006, but lost by one vote.
Nouri Al-Maliki was then named UIA candidate and secured the post.
According to extracts released in advance, Mahdi told BBC World Service radio that he had supported both Jafaari and Maliki but "should there be a change in Iraq, I am still there".
"If the Iraqi parliament sees in me a prime minister, at the proper time, as an alternative, in a constitutional way, in a democratic way, I've served my country, I'll continue serving my country, that's all."
"I am one of the political players on the scene," he said, adding: "I am not a coup d'etat man."
On January 2 this year, Maliki told the Wall Street Journal newspaper in an interview he had not wanted to become prime minister in the first place and did not want to serve a second term in office.
His premiership has also been dogged by claims he has failed to clamp down on sectarian militia partly responsible for the violence in Iraq.
Mahdi, a trained economist, is one of Iraq's two vice-presidents.