[QODLink]
Middle East

Iraq parliament defers vote on new government

Acting parliament speaker ends brief session due to disagreement on nominees and absence of Kurdish delegation.

Last updated: 14 Jul 2014 07:19
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback

Iraq's deadlocked parliament has ended its second session without making any progress towards forming a new unity government that can confront armed rebels who have seized control of a huge part of the country.

Deputies had gathered in parliament on Sunday for talks intended to agree on a prime minister, president and speaker of parliament, three months after Iraq's parliamentary election.

But the meeting only lasted for 30 minutes before it was adjourned.

Check out our complete coverage of the crisis in Iraq

Hopes had been raised that legislators might at least vote on a speaker of parliament on Sunday after Sunni blocs announced the previous day that they had agreed on a candidate for the post, Salim al-Juburi.

But Mahdi al-Hafidh, acting parliament speaker, ended Sunday's brief meeting "due to the absence of any agreement on the names of the nominees for the three posts".

He scheduled the next session for Tuesday, July 15.

Parliament members from the Kurdish region also failed to attend the meeting, after they were stranded at the Erbil regional airport due to flight delays caused by a reported dust storm.

The political impasse has been given added urgency by the advancing armed fighters who swept through Sunni provinces of northern Iraq last month and have threatened Baghdad.

On Sunday, Sunni fighters led by Islamic State group attacked a town 70km north of Baghdadand seized local government buildings, killing at least six people.

The formation of a new government had already been postponed earlier this month.

Under an informal arrangement that took hold after the 2003 US-led invasion, the speaker's chair goes to a Sunni, the presidency to a Kurd and the prime minister's post to a Shia.

In the past, Iraq's Shia, Sunni and Kurdish political blocs have agreed to all three posts ahead of time as a sort of a package deal.

It was unclear whether political leaders would insist on a similar arrangement this time around.

According to the constitution, parliament will have 30 days after choosing a new speaker to elect a president, who will then have 15 days to ask the leader of the majority in the 328 seat legislature to form a government.

After that, a prime minister will be picked.

369

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Muslim volunteers face questioning and threat of arrest, while aid has been disrupted or blocked, charities say.
Six months on, outrage and sorrow over the mass schoolgirl abduction has disappeared - except for families in Nigeria.
ISIL combatants seeking an 'exit strategy' from Mideast conflict need positive reinforcement back home, analysts say.
European nation hit by a wave of Islamophobia as many young fighters join ISIL in Syria and Iraq.
Featured
Lacking cohesive local ground forces to attack in tandem, coalition air strikes will have limited effect, experts say.
Hindu right-wing groups run campaign against what they say is Muslim conspiracy to convert Hindu girls into Islam.
Six months on, outrage and sorrow over the mass schoolgirl abduction has disappeared - except for families in Nigeria.
Muslim caretakers maintain three synagogues in eastern Indian city, which was once home to a thriving Jewish community.
Amid fresh ISIL gains, officials in Anbar province have urged the Iraqi government to request foreign ground troops.