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Iraq's next parliament session postponed to Aug 12 - Speaker's Office

Monday, 7 July 2014 - 6:02pm IST | Agency: Reuters

Iraq's newly elected parliament has postponed its next session until August 12, the office of acting parliamentary speaker Mehdi al-Hafidh said on Monday, amid political deadlock in Baghdad over the formation of a new government.

Hafidh's office told Reuters that parliament would soon issue a statement to clarify the reason for the delay.

Salim al-Jabour, a Sunni lawmaker, told Reuters the meeting had been postponed because parliament "had failed to reach political consensus or agreement" over the nomination for three top posts.

Parliament met last Tuesday for the first time since its election in April and had planned to meet again this Tuesday.

The first session ended without agreement on top government posts. Sunnis and Kurds walked out after Shi'ites failed to nominate a new candidate for prime minister.

Embattled Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said last week that he hoped to overcome the challenges blocking the formation of a new government, but he has also remained defiant amid criticism from many in the divided parliament who are calling for him to withdraw his bid for a third term.

Under a governing system put in place after the removal of Saddam Hussein, the prime minister has always been a member of the Shi'ite majority, the speaker of parliament a Sunni and the largely ceremonial president a Kurd.

(Reporting By Ahmed Rasheed; Writing by Maggie Fick; Editing by Jeremy Gaunt)

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