A half-hour parliament break leaves Iraq without new gov’t

A half-hour parliament break leaves Iraq without new gov’t
Tue Jul 1, 2014 19:20:22

The first session of Iraq's newly elected parliament has adjourned for a week without choosing a new speaker, officials say.

Following a half an hour break the parliament session was adjourned, after Kurdish lawmakers boycotted the session over their conflicts with other lawmakers.

"This session is adjourned, and it will be held next week in the event of an agreement," acting speaker Mehdi al-Hafidh told lawmakers.

The members of parliament are tasked with naming a new unity government. After choosing the parliament speaker, the lawmaker will have to pick the Iraqi president as well as the prime minister within 45 days.

The three individuals selected from among Sunni, Shia and Kurdish candidates are expected to form a unity government.

Under a de facto agreement among communities in Iraq, the prime minister is a Shia Arab, the president a Kurd and the parliament speaker a Sunni Arab.

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is bidding for a third term, despite stiff opposition from his key rivals.

Iraqi National Congress leader Ahmad al-Chalabi and former Vice President Adel Abdul Mahdi are the other candidates.

Premier al-Maliki has rejected recent calls by the United States and its allies to form an emergency administration or a so-called national salvation government in the country.

The Iraqi premier has recently said that a salvation government would amount to a coup against the country’s constitution and would undermine the results of parliamentary elections held on April 30.

The developments come as Iraqi armed forces have been engaged in fierce clashes with the terrorists, who have threatened to take their acts of violence to other Iraqi cities, including the capital, Baghdad. However, advances by the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) terror group have been slowed down as Iraqi military and volunteer forces have begun engaging them on several fronts.

Premier al-Maliki has stressed that his government remains steadfast in defeating the ISIL Takfiri militants, blaming Saudi Arabia, Qatar and some Arab states of the Persian Gulf for the growing terrorism in his country.


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