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Iraqi Parliament Cancels Session

Iraqi lawmakers who attempted to oust the speaker of parliament gather during a news conference, in Baghdad, Iraq, April 14, 2016.

Iraq's parliament has cancelled another session after failing to vote on the fate of their speaker, continuing a week of turmoil.

A majority of Iraqi lawmakers voted to dismiss Parliament Speaker Salim al-Jibouri and his deputies Thursday after chaos erupted over approving new Cabinet nominees. The parliament members proceeded to elect Adnan al-Janabi, leaving two claims to the speaker position.

Jibouri supporters argue the vote was not legal because the necessary quorum was not achieved.

After negotiations, the house agreed to convene Tuesday to vote on whether to remove speaker Jibouri, but the session dissolved into chaotic arguments. Jibouri then suspended parliament "until further notice", but Janabi called for a session Thursday.

As well as seeking to sack Jibouri, lawmakers have staged sit-ins and have even thrown punches in the chamber this week.

In February, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi called for “fundamental” change to the government and called for the inclusion of academic and professional figures in the Cabinet. Since then he has proposed several reform measures that have been delayed or otherwise undermined by parties and politicians with vested interests in keeping the current system.

The United States and United Nations have stressed the political crisis in Iraq could distract from efforts to combat the Islamic State jihadist group, which overran large areas of Iraq in 2014.