Iraq parliament chaos deepens as MPs fail to agree on new speaker

AFP reports: A solution to the Iraq crisis appeared to slip away into the distance as a crucial parliament session aimed at kickstarting the formation of a government was delayed when MPs failed to agree on a new speaker.

They were reportedly bickering despite calls for unity to see off a jihadist offensive that has overrun swaths of the country.

The Iraqi security forces have struggled to repel the swift advance of fighters for the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, which has forced hundreds of thousands of people to flee their homes. The developments have also alarmed the international community and heaped pressure on Nouri al-Maliki, the prime minister, as he bids for a third term in office.

But the government formation process – which international leaders and top clerics have urged should be completed as quickly as possible – suffered a setback when the session set for Tuesday was postponed to 12 August because political leaders could not reach an agreement. [Continue reading…]

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