BAGHDAD, July 13 (Xinhua) -- Iraq's new parliament convened on Sunday, which is considered a key step to start the long-expected process of forming a new government that may help to avoid a possible split-up amid continuous sectarian clashes.
Up to 233 lawmakers out of the parliament 328 members attended the session, which was chaired by the acting speaker Mahdi al- Hafidh.
The lawmakers are expected to choose a new speaker after the Sunni Arab politicians managed late Saturday to pick Salim al- Jubouri a candidate for the head of the legislature. They are also expected to elect two deputy speakers later in the session.
According to the Iraqi constitution, a new president should be chosen within the next 30 days after the election of the speakership.
Following that, the new head of state will have half of month to ask the bloc with the most lawmakers to nominate a prime minister, who will be responsible for forming a new government.
The duration for a prime minister-designate to select his cabinet members, and present the list to the parliament is 30 days.
With the country's ever deepening security crisis, a new unity government is now considered vital for Iraq to counter the Sunni insurgency that threatens to split the country apart.
Iraq has been witnessing its worst security conditions that began about a month ago when armed Sunni insurgents, spearheaded by the Islamic State, an al-Qaida breakaway group, launched a surprise offensive that led to the debacle of Iraqi security forces and the fallen of a large part of the country's northern and western territories.
BAGHDAD, July 13 (Xinhua) -- Iraq's new parliament postponed again a session shortly after they started it on Sunday without achieving any progress in resolving the differences between the political blocs. Full story
BAGHDAD, July 12 (Xinhua) -- A UN envoy on Saturday warned that Iraq could plunge into chaos if its lawmakers fail to move forward on electing new leaders in the upcoming parliament session.
"I call on all parliamentarians to attend the forthcoming session of the Council of Representatives on Sunday," Nickolay Mladenov, Special Representative of the Secretary General for Iraq and Head of UN Assistance Mission in Iraq, said in a statement. Full story
BAGHDAD, July 12 (Xinhua) -- Iraqi security forces fought back Sunni insurgent groups across Iraq on Saturday, police and medical sources said.
In the country's western province of Anbar, Sunni militants, including those who are linked to Islamic State (IS), an al-Qaida breakaway group, attacked the city of Haditha, around 200 km west of the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, and the nearby dam on the Euphrates River, a provincial police source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity. Full story