Iraq Parliament elects speaker as security forces advance into Tikrit
Published on Jul 15, 2014 9:10 PM
BAGHDAD (AFP) - Iraq's fractious Parliament elected a speaker on Tuesday, setting the stage for the government formation process to proceed after extensive delays, as security forces advanced into militant-held Tikrit.
World powers and Iraq's top Shi'ite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, had piled pressure on MPs to put aside their differences to help counter a major jihadist-led onslaught that has overrun swathes of territory north and west of Baghdad.
After two sessions in which they made no progress, MPs elected Mr Salim al-Juburi Parliament speaker, a post traditionally held by a Sunni Arab that must be filled before the process of forming a government can go ahead.
Acting Speaker Mahdi Hafez announced that Mr Juburi, an MP from Diyala who ran on an independent list, won 194 of 273 votes cast.
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