Iraq MPs fail to choose speaker

Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki (2rd R) attends a session at the parliament headquarters in Baghdad July 1, 2014. (Reuters)

Iraq's new parliament failed to elect a speaker as its first session ended in disarray on Tuesday, with MPs due to meet again in a week.

Lawmakers were constitutionally required to choose a speaker in their first session, followed over a period of weeks by a new president and prime minister.

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

The newly-elected parliament in Iraq began its first session to form a new government after the April 30 elections.

Hafidh had told lawmakers that the "security setback" in Iraq needs to be resolved.

"The security setback that has beset Iraq must be brought to a stop, and security and stability have to be regained all over Iraq, so that it can head down the path in the right way toward the future," said Hafidh to the newly elected parliament its first session

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's party won the most seats in the polls; however the official's re-election bid has been pressured by a Sunni militant assault that has captured five provinces north and west of Baghdad.

Parliament must also elect an official speaker first and then a president afterwards, who will then grant the biggest parliamentary party the responsibility of forming a government.

Many well-known figures which consist of former vice president Adel Abdel Mehdi, ex-premier Ibrahim al-Jaafari and ex-deputy premier Ahmed Chalabi are all being publicized alongside backroom powerbrokers, such as Maliki's current chief of staff Tareq Najim, as potential replacements for the premier.

However, MPs from all sides of the political and communal spectrum said that even if Maliki was removed from power, choosing a new premier could take a month or even longer, according to interviews with AFP.

 

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Last Update: 10:53 KSA 13:53 - GMT 10:53
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