BAGHDAD, July 15 (Xinhua) -- Iraqi lawmakers on Tuesday has finally fill in the vacant speakership, a key step toward the formation of a new government.
A total of 194 lawmakers voted for Salim Abdullah al-Jubouri as the speaker of the parliament. According to the Iraqi constitution, the speaker should have the absolute majority of 165 votes out of the 328-seat parliament.
The other candidate, Shrouq al-Ubaiyachi from the Civil Alliance, which is an independent parliamentary bloc, received only 19 votes, while 60 ballots were invalid.
Salim al-Jubouri, born in 1971 in Iraq's eastern province of Diyala, obtained his doctorate in law in 2001. He was elected as a member of parliament and headed the legal committee in the first parliament after the U.S.-invasion in 2005. He was re-elected in 2010 and headed the human rights committee in the outgoing parliament.
Al-Jubouri is a leading figure in the Islamic Party, a moderate Sunni party, which participated in the political process that followed the collapse of Saddam Hussein regime in 2003.
In the April 30 parliamentary elections, Jubouri was the head of a Sunni bloc for Diyala province named "Diyala is Our Identity, " which is affiliated to the Osama al-Nujaifi's Motahidoun bloc. Jubouri's bloc won most of Diyala's 14 parliamentary seats.
Following that, the parliament also elected Al-Ebadi and Aram Sheikh Mohammed as the deputy head of the legislature.
By electing Speaker Salim al-Jubouri, lawmakers have completed a key step in forming a new government that is aiming to be inclusive all Iraqi factions.
According to the Iraqi constitution, a new president should be chosen within the next 30 days after the election of the speaker.
Following that, the new head of state will have a half 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 since 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 breakdown of Iraq's army after troops fled and abandoned their posts, allowing the Sunni militias to capture a large part of the country's northern and western territories.