Iraqi lawmakers break political deadlock, elect speaker
BAGHDAD — Iraq's parliament broke through two weeks of political deadlock on Tuesday to elect a speaker, a crucial first step toward forming a government that Iraqi leaders hope will pull this divided country out of crisis.
Sunni lawmaker Salim al-Juburi captured 71 percent of the votes. The session, broadcast live on state television, was attended by 273 of the Iraqi parliament's 328 members, acting speaker Mehdi Hafedh said after the vote, which drew applause inside the assembly.
The election of a speaker of parliament appeared to bring Iraq one step closer to forming a government headed by someone other than controversial Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.
Widespread opposition to Maliki, a Shiite Arab, among Iraq's Sunni Arab and Kurdish minorities, as well as some Shiite lawmakers, has been the main reason for the deadlock.
In practice, Iraq's government consists of a Sunni speaker of parliament, a Kurdish president and a Shiite prime minister, to balance the country's ethnic and religious diversity.
The speaker is chosen first. But in the past, political parties have agreed on all three, as part of a package deal, ahead of the formal vote.
Maliki, whose State of Law party controls the largest bloc in parliament, has insisted on pushing for a third term despite the opposition to him.
Nevertheless, Maliki might still be able to retain his post, according to Ramzy Mardini, an Iraq expert and nonresident fellow at the Atlantic Council.
Far from signaling a behind-the-scenes agreement on a new government, the vote showed only that both pro- and anti-Maliki camps regard the selection of a speaker as the way to push their agendas forward, Mardini said from the Kurdish regional capital, Irbil.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Islamic State group pushed out of Syria’s Kobani
- Putin casts off rich cronies as sanctions hit Russian elite
- Obama, Modi declare era of ‘new trust’ in US-India relations
- Radical left wins Greek parliamentary election on vow to end austerity measures
- Australia facing methamphetamine crisis
- Images of shot Egypt protester revive criticism of police
- Boko Haram attacks northeastern Nigerian city; scores killed
- Japan stunned by video claiming death of 1 of 2 Islamic State hostages
- Aides: Rebels hold Yemen’s president ‘captive’ at his house
- Turmoil confronts new Saudi king on several crucial fronts
- Obama defends Yemen counterterrorism strategy