News / Middle East

Iraq Parliament Elects New Speaker

Armed Shi'ite volunteers, travel in a vehicle before taking their positions during a patrol after clashes with militants of the Islamic State, formerly known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant on the outskirts of Samarra in Salahuddin province, July 13, 2014.
Armed Shi'ite volunteers, travel in a vehicle before taking their positions during a patrol after clashes with militants of the Islamic State, formerly known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant on the outskirts of Samarra in Salahuddin province, July 13, 2014.
Edward Yeranian

Despite attempts to prevent a vote, the Iraqi parliament elected Sunni politician Selim al-Jabouri as its new speaker on Tuesday. The conflict, however, over who will fill the more important positions of prime minister and president remains unresolved.

The Iraqi parliament broke an impasse Tuesday, electing its new speaker, with a majority of 194 votes. Two previous sessions had ended in a deadlock, after key political blocs withdrew, preventing a necessary quorum for the vote to take place.

In a sign of a political thaw, members of parliament loyal to former Prime Minister Iyad Allawi agreed to attend Tuesday's session, and were sworn in, after boycotting the two previous sessions.

Contentious vote

One Shi'ite member of parliament complained the vote was unconstitutional, due to what she claimed were illegal procedures. The vote, however, went ahead without a hitch.

Despite unruly outbursts from several members of parliament and commotion at several points in the debate, rival Shi'ite, Sunni and Kurdish political factions appeared eager to reach some sort of an agreement.

The conflict over who will be Iraq's prime minister, though, remains unresolved. Outgoing Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is hoping to retain his position for a third term. He faces major opposition from Sunni, Kurdish and some Shi'ite political blocs.

Hilal Khashan, who teaches political science at the American University of Beirut, thinks that only by finding a replacement for Maliki will Iraq's thorny political conflict be resolved.

"The most important development for putting Iraq on the road to national reconciliation has to do with finding a replacement for al-Maliki. Maliki is unacceptable to Sunni Arabs, to Kurds and to many Iraqi Shi'ites," said Khashan. "However, Jabouri's election represents a step in the right direction."

Tenuous situation ahead

Former Parliament Speaker Osama Nujeify told journalists that Maliki's possible re-election as prime minister would mean a further deterioration of the situation in the country and that there is consensus among most politicians over the need for a change.

Al-Arabiya TV reported that Maliki met at length Tuesday with the new parliament speaker Selim al-Jabouri, ostensibly to request his support. Jabouri has said in the past that he would not support a third term for Maliki.

On the ground, government forces claimed to have recaptured the southern part of former leader Saddam Hussein's hometown of Tikrit. There was no independent confirmation of the claim. Government forces have been battling Sunni insurgents over Tikrit for days now, amid conflicting reports over who was winning.

 

 

 

 

You May Like

US Firms Concerned About China's New Cyber Regulations

New rules would require technology companies doing business in financial sector to hand over their source code, adopt Chinese encryption algorithms More

WHO Focus on Ebola Shifts to Ending Outbreak

Focus to be less on building facilities and more on efforts to find infected people, manage their cases, engage with communities and ensure proper burials More

US Scientist Who Conceived of Groundbreaking Laser Technology Dies

Charles Townes, Nobel laureate, laser co-creator paved way for other scientific discoveries: CDs, eye surgery, metal cutters to name a few technologies that rely on lasers More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Webi
X
January 29, 2015 9:58 AM
Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Web

Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Freedom on Decline Worldwide, Report Says

The state of global freedom declined for the ninth consecutive year in 2014, according to global watchdog Freedom House's annual report released Wednesday. VOA's William Gallo has more.
Video

Video As Ground Shifts, Obama Reviews Middle East Strategy

The death of Saudi Arabia’s king, the collapse of a U.S.-friendly government in Yemen and a problematic relationship with Israel’s leadership are presenting a new set of complications for the Obama administration and its Middle East policy. Not only is the U.S. leader dealing with adversaries in Iran, the Islamic State and al-Qaida, but he is now juggling trouble with traditional allies, as White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video MRI Seems to Help Diagnose Prostate Cancer, Preliminary Study Shows

Just as with mammography used to detect breast cancer, there's a lot of controversy about tests used to diagnose prostate cancer. Fortunately, a new study shows doctors may now have a more reliable way to diagnose prostate cancer for high risk patients. More from VOA's Carol Pearson.
Video

Video Smartphones About to Make Leap, Carry Basic Senses

Long-distance communication contains mostly sounds and pictures - for now. But scientists in Britain say they are close to creating additions for our smartphones that will make it possible to send taste, smell and even a basic touch. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.
Video

Video Saved By a Mistake - an Auschwitz Survivor's Story

Dagmar Lieblova was 14 when she arrived at Auschwitz in December 1943, along with her entire Czech Jewish family. All of them were to die there, but she was able to leave after several months due to a bureaucratic mix-up which saved her life. Now 85, with three children and six grandchildren, she says she has a feeling of victory. This report by Ahmad Wadiei and Farin Assemi, of RFE/RL's Radio Farda is narrated by RFE’s Raymond Furlong.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid