Iraq Sunnis fail to agree on parliament speaker nominee

By Ali Jawad

BAGHDAD (AA) – Sunni political blocs have failed to agree on a nominee for the post of speaker of Iraq’s newly-elected parliament, a lawmaker said Wednesday.

“We’re still considering nine different people for the nomination,” MP Mohamed al-Khaledi, head of parliament’s Sunni Bayariq al-Khair bloc, told Anadolu Agency.

Al-Khaledi himself is a nominee for the post, along with eight other Sunni politicians, including former Defense Minister Khaled al-Obaidi and current Vice President Osama al-Nujaifi.

On Saturday, parliament will convene to elect a new speaker and two deputies.

Last week, parliament postponed the election of a new speaker to mid-September after a number of lawmakers decided to boycott the vote.

Within 30 days of its first session, which was held last week, parliament should elect — by a two-thirds majority — the country’s next president, according to Iraq’s constitution.

The new president will then task the majority bloc in parliament with drawing up a government, which must be referred back to the assembly for approval.