THU 17 - 1 - 2019
Sep 3, 2018
The Daily Star
Iraq's new parliament meets as rival blocs vie for majority
BAGHDAD: Iraq's newly-elected parliament is meeting for the first time as rival factions compete over the right to name a new government.
The parliament Monday opened its first session since national elections in May with an orchestral performance of the national anthem and a prayer.
Lawmakers must now select a parliament speaker before electing a president. The president then appoints a prime minister to form a government.
Two blocs claim to hold the majority of seats in parliament and therefore the right to name a prime minister. The bloc of incumbent Prime Minister Haider Abadi and populist cleric Moqtada Sadr has the support of the U.S., while the bloc of former Prime Minister Nouri Maliki and militia leader Hadi Amiri is backed by Iran.
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