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Iraq agrees to delay parliament speaker's election

September 4, 2018 at 1:36 pm

Iraqi lawmakers today agreed to delay their next meeting, where they are expected to elect a speaker of parliament, to 15 September, state TV reported.

Parliament held its first session since May’s national election yesterday but failed to elect a speaker, what should have been the first step towards forming a new government.

The temporary leader of the assembly said yesterday it would remain in session until today, but failing to reach a quorum, lawmakers agreed to resume the session on 15 September. Competing political blocs had each claimed to hold a parliamentary majority.

On Sunday, lawmakers led by populist cleric Muqtada Al-Sadr and former prime minister Haidar Al-Abadi announced they had managed to form an alliance that would give them a majority bloc in parliament.

READ: Iraqi rival groups both announce parliamentary blocs to form new government

Hours later, a rival grouping led by militia commander Hadi Al-Amiri and former prime minister Nouri Al-Maliki responded by saying it had formed its own alliance that would be the largest bloc, after it persuaded some lawmakers to defect from the rival group.

Iraqis voted in May in their first parliamentary election since the defeat of Daesh’s self-declared caliphate, but a contentious recount process delayed the announcement of final results until earlier this month.