By Amer al-Hassani
BAGHDAD (AA) – Iraq's parliament on Saturday elected Sunni politician Mohammed al-Halbusi as assembly speaker after winning majority votes.
Al-Halbusi won the parliament's highest position representing the National Axis alliance, which includes the majority of Sunni political blocs.
According to an Anadolu Agency correspondent, al-Halbusi won 169 out of 298 votes, while his rival Khalid al-Obeidi, former defense minister, won 85 votes.
Al-Halbusi was born in 1981 in the Anbar province's Karma district.
He is a member of the Al-Hall (Solution) party, led by businessman Jamal al-Karbouli, and is seen as a young and rising political leader.
He graduated from the faculty of civil engineering at Mustansiriya University in Baghdad in 2002 and in 2006 received a master's degree from the same university.
After graduating, he founded Al-Hadid Limited firm which carried out a number of infrastructure projects in Fallujah, the largest city in Anbar.
He entered politics in 2014 after winning a seat in parliament and was elected as governor of Anbar in August 2017.
Al-Halbusi vacated the governor's post after winning the last parliamentary elections in May.
He headed the list of Anbar Hawiyyatuna (Our Identity), from which six MPs won seats.
The Iraqi parliament on Saturday held its second session to elect the parliament speaker and his two deputies.
Earlier this month, the newly-elected parliament postponed the election of a new assembly speaker to mid-September after a number of lawmakers decided to boycott the vote.
Under Iraq’s constitution, the majority bloc in parliament has the right to draw up the country’s next government.
According to results of Iraq’s May 12 parliamentary poll, Muqtada al-Sadr's Sairoon Coalition won 54 seats, followed by a Hashd al-Shaabi-led coalition (47 seats) and Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi's Victory Bloc (42 seats).