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Iraqi parliament convenes to elect new president

Posted on Jul 23 2014 | IANS

Baghdad, July 23 : The Iraqi parliament has convened to elect a president and two vice presidents in a bid to put together a new government.

Newly-elected Speaker Salim al-Jubouri opened the session in the presence of 236 lawmakers, Xinhua reported.

Jubouri told the lawmakers that the political blocs would need further deliberation to reach a consensus between the political blocs, and suggested delaying the choosing process to the end of the session.

His suggestion was voted in by the lawmakers.

On Tuesday, al-Jubouri had said in Baghdad that more than 100 candidates were vying for the president's post and their resumes were being reviewed by the parliament.

However, Iraq's power-sharing consensus stipulates that the president should be a member of the Kurdish minority, while the speakership is reserved for a Sunni Arab and the prime ministership for a Shia.

The agreement has been supported by the leading Shia, Sunni and Kurdish political parties, though it has not been incorporated in the country's constitution.

Iraq's constitution requires a new president to be chosen 30 days after a speaker is elected.

Around two weeks after the new head of state is elected, the bloc with the most lawmakers will nominate a prime minister who will be responsible for forming a new government.

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