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Iraqis Fail to Name Parliament Speaker

Nearly two months after the elections in Iraq, the new Iraqi parliament failed on Tuesday to elect a speaker. The incident, along with other disagreements, highlighted the rift between Shi’ite, Sunni and Kurdish members of Iraq’s National Assembly.

AP reported that the speaker of the parliament is likely to be named on Sunday, according to Hussein A-‘Sadr, a Shi’ite member of interim Prime Minister Iyad ‘Alawi’s coalition.

Many of the disagreements in creating a new government concern the way in which to include Muslim Sunnis in the new leadership. The Sunnis ruled under Saddam Hussein’s dictatorship even though they were a minority. They are now believed to be leading the insurgency in Iraq.

Shi’ite, Kurdish and Sunni representatives are trying to propose a Sunni candidate to be speaker. Shi’ite and Kurdish parties were victorious in the January 30 elections and their representatives are now reaching out to the Sunnis, hoping to create a national unity government. However, the various groups are stuck in a power struggle and have not been able to iron out their differences.

The situation has left Iraq without a government for almost two months since the National Assembly was elected.