Date
22 August 2017
The opening session of Iraq's new parliament descends into chaos after the Shi'ites failed to name a prime minister to replace Nuri al-Maliki on Tuesday. Photo: AFP
The opening session of Iraq's new parliament descends into chaos after the Shi'ites failed to name a prime minister to replace Nuri al-Maliki on Tuesday. Photo: AFP

Iraq faces collapse as Sunnis, Kurds shun parliament

Iraq’s new parliament ended its first session in chaos on Tuesday after Sunni Arab and Kurdish lawmakers walked out when Shi’ites failed to name a prime minister to replace Nuri al-Maliki, dimming hopes for the establishment of a national unity government that could save the country from collapse, Reuters reported on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the Sunni militant group, the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant or ISIS, has declared the establishment of a caliphate in the lands it has seized in Iraq and Syria, as it continued its advance towards Baghdad.

Despite the urgency, the Iraqi parliament’s opening session since its election in April collapsed when Sunnis and Kurds refused to return to the chamber from a recess after Shi’ites failed to name a prime minister, according to the news agency.

Parliament is not likely to meet again for at least a week, leaving Iraq in political limbo and Maliki clinging to power as a caretaker, rejected by Sunnis and Kurds.

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, the report said.

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RA/CG

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