The first session of the Iraqi parliament was adjourned because it did not elect its president | The powerful 790 KFGO


(Reuters) – Iraq’s parliament held its first session on Sunday since the national elections in October, but failed to elect a president, which should have been the first step towards forming a new government.

The process of selecting speakers was disrupted as competing political blocs each claimed to have a parliamentary majority. After heated debates and cries among lawmakers, the provisional leader of the assembly, Mahmoud al-Mashahadani, has decided to adjourn the session and it is not known when parliament will resume.

In a further complication, Mashahadani, who at 73 is the oldest member of parliament, suddenly fell ill and was taken to hospital by ambulance. A new temporary president will need to be appointed before parliament can resume, the parliament’s media office said. He did not give more details about Mashahadani’s condition except to say that his blood pressure was being controlled.

Parliament was to elect a president and two deputies at its first meeting.

Parliament also has 30 days from the first session to elect the country’s new president, who will then call on the largest parliamentary bloc to form a government.

(Reporting by Ahmed Rasheed; writing by Ahmad Elhamy; editing by Elaine Hardcastle and Susan Fenton)


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