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Iraq parliament elects speaker

Middle East News
Sun, 16 Sep 2018

ERBIL: Iraq’s parliament elected Sunni legislator Mohammed Al Halbousi as speaker yesterday, marking an important step towards establishing a new government four months after an inconclusive national election.

Parliament had been due to elect a speaker and two deputies during its first meeting on September 3, but failed to do so as legislators were unable to determine which competing bloc had the most seats.

Hassan Al Kaabi, who ran on Moqtada Al Sadr’s Saeroon list which came first in May’s national election, was elected as Halbousi’s first deputy. The vote for a second deputy was inconclusive and will be put to a second round today.

Halbousi’s election marks the start of a 90-day process outlined in the constitution, designed to eventually lead to a new government.

Legislators must next elect a new president and task the leader of the largest bloc to form a government as prime minister.

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