Saturday, February 28, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Iraq parliament postpones decision on new leaders

Osama al-Nujaifi

Iraqi former Parliament speaker and the chairman of the Sunni Arab Coalition Osama al-Nujaifi, center, speaks to the media during a press conference in Baghdad, Iraq, Sunday, July 13, 2014. Iraq's deadlocked parliament ended its second session after just 30 minutes Sunday without making any progress toward forming a new government that can unite the country and confront the Sunni militant blitz that has seized control of a huge chunk of the country. (AP Photo/Karim Kadim)

By
From page A5 | July 14, 2014 |

BAGHDAD — Iraq’s deadlocked parliament failed Sunday to overcome the deep divisions hampering the formation of a new government, making no progress on choosing new leaders who could help hold the nation together and confront the Sunni militant blitz that has overrun much of the country.

The legislature is under pressure to quickly choose a new speaker of parliament, president and prime minister – the first steps toward a new government. The international community has pressed lawmakers to put their differences aside, while the United Nations has warned of chaos if the political impasse drags on for too long.

But just 30 minutes into Sunday’s parliament session, acting speaker Mahdi al-Hafidh announced he was breaking off the proceedings until Tuesday “due to the absence of any agreement on the names of the nominees for the three posts.”

“There are still deep differences,” he said. “We need more discussions to agree on the names.”

Hopes had been raised that lawmakers might at least vote on a speaker of parliament after Sunni blocs announced late Saturday that they had agreed on a candidate for the post, Salim al-Jubouri. But even that proved difficult, and lawmakers dispersed amid mutual recriminations.

“We have presented our candidate for the post of the parliament speaker,” said leading Sunni lawmaker Osama al-Nujaifi. “We hold other blocs responsible for the delay.”

Another Sunni legislator, Saleh al-Mutlaq, said that Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki agreed to support al-Jubouri’s candidacy on the condition that Sunnis back al-Maliki for a third consecutive term. “This will not happen as we do not accept that,” al-Mutlaq told The Associated Press.

Mohammed Saadoun, a lawmaker from al-Maliki’s State of Law bloc, confirmed that al-Jubouri will not receive support without Sunnis first guaranteeing they will back al-Maliki for prime minister. “All sides that get our votes should be clear and giver their votes to us,” he told AP.

Under an informal arrangement that took hold after the 2003 U.S.-led invasion, the speaker’s chair goes to a Sunni, the presidency to a Kurd and the prime minister’s post to a Shiite. The greatest disagreement is over prime minister, the most powerful position in the country.

Al-Maliki has held the post since 2006, but is now under pressure to step aside. His opponents, and even many of his former allies, accuse him of trying to monopolize power and alienating the Sunni community, and are pushing him to not seek a third consecutive term. Al-Maliki has so far refused to withdraw his candidacy, and points to his State of Law bloc’s capturing the most seats in April elections to claim he has a mandate.

The candidates aren’t the only point of contention. There is also disagreement on whether to choose the speaker, president and prime minister individually, or to agree to all three as a sort of package deal – which has been the case in the past.

The urgency for Iraq’s lawmakers to bridge their differences and forge an agreement stems from the threat the nation faces from the Sunni militants who swept across much of northern and western Iraq over the past month, raising the prospect of an Iraq cut in three along ethnic and sectarian lines.

On Sunday, the insurgents barreled unopposed into the town of Duluiyah, some 45 miles north of Baghdad, seizing the mayor’s office, police station, local council and courthouse, a police officer said. They also blew up a bridge that links the town with the predominantly Shiite city of Balad nearby.

The Iraqi military launched a counterattack that drove the militants from part of Duluiyah, but clashes were still raging around the police station and mayor’s office, the officer said, adding that six members of the security forces and six pro-government Sunni militiamen had been killed in the fighting.

A medical official in the nearby city of Samarra confirmed the casualty figures.

Both officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief the media.

The insurgents are led by the Islamic State extremist group, which has declared the establishment of an Islamic state ruled by Shariah law in the territory it has seized straddling the Iraq-Syria border.

The jihadi group has been joined in Iraq by an array of other Sunni militant factions, including the Army of the Men of the Naqshbandi Order – a collection of former members of Saddam Hussein’s now-outlawed Baath party.

An audio recording purportedly from Naqshbandi leader Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri surfaced overnight, in which he hailed the militants’ “historic victories” in recent weeks and reserved special praise for the Islamic State group.

“Our great Iraqi people along with their brave forces have achieved a great victory through a tough and bloody struggle since more than 11 years,” the man reported to be al-Douri said in the nearly 15-minute recording. The authenticity of the audio could not be immediately confirmed, though it sounded like previous recordings made of al-Douri.

The fugitive al-Douri is the highest-ranking member of Saddam’s toppled government to escape the 2003 U.S.-led invasion and elude security forces. He was the “king of clubs” in the deck of playing cards issued by the U.S. to help troops identify the most-wanted members of Saddam’s regime.

In the recording, the man believed to be al-Douri said the militant offensive marked a “historic and great turning point in the nation’s march of jihad to achieve its freedom and unity and to build prosperous future for coming generations.”

He praised the tribal leaders and other militant groups who have taken part in the fighting, but especially “the heroes and the knights of al-Qaida and the Islamic State, to whom I send a special salutation full of appreciation and love.”

 

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 1 comment

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • rlw895July 14, 2014 - 2:33 pm

    Probably a Kurd prime minister is the only hope for Iraq, unless there is an Iraqi Arab Lincoln out there.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

US / World

Man shoots wife, himself at Northern Calif. retirement home

By The Associated Press | From Page: A3

 
 
Thieves crash car through electronics store in San Francisco

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
Some California farmers to go without federal water

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4, 1 Comment | Gallery

Congress OKs 1-week bill to keep Homeland Security open

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
US rescinds rule requiring judges to move to Guantanamo

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

US, Liberia start 1st formal test of ZMapp Ebola virus drug

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
US appeals court: Marathon bombing trial can stay in Boston

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Woman knocked out by eggs

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

Mexico official: Police capture top capo ‘La Tuta’ Gomez

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10 | Gallery

 
Well-educated ‘Jihadi John’ no surprise to experts

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Unmasking of ‘Jihadi John’ as a London lad shocks Britain

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
.

Opinion

How GOP can resolve immigration mess

By Ramesh Ponnuru | From Page: A8, 2 Comments

 
Unlikely winners of Greece’s surrender on euro

By Mark Gilbert | From Page: A8

A remedy for veterans’ care

By Bill Frist And Jim Marshall | From Page: A8

 
Editorial Cartoon: Feb. 28, 2015

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

.

Living

Today in History: Feb. 28, 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: Feb. 28, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Horoscopes: Feb. 28, 2015

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A7

 
Poem about heaven helps dog owners when beloved pet dies

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A7, 1 Comment

Coca-Cola bottle as art? Atlanta’s High Museum takes a look

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
.

Entertainment

 
TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B9

.

Sports

Thompson scores 25 points, Warriors rout Raptors 113-89

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Casey McGehee’s move to Giants a homecoming of sorts

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

SCC women’s basketball out of playoffs after 74-47 loss

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B1

 
Vaca advances three wrestlers into semis at Masters

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B1

 
Spurs snap 4-game skid, beat short-handed Kings 107-96

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Travis Kvapil’s NASCAR car stolen from hotel before race

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
McIlroy to miss cut at Honda Classic; Reed leads

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

NHL fines Sharks’ Couture $5,000 for tripping from behind

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Browns agree to terms with quarterback Josh McCown

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Kyle Busch released from hospital following foot surgery

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Bulls expect Derrick Rose back this season from knee surgery

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Testimony: Several Hernandez texts are missing from phone

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Approaching ‘last call’ for NHL GMs to tweak rosters

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
PGA Tour to move Match Play to Texas

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Notre Dame president credited for transforming school dies

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
MLS Commissioner Garber: Hopeful season will start on time

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
This date in sports history for Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

.

Business

Gas prices soar in California as supply shrinks

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
5 reasons US economy is stronger than Q4 GDP suggests

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5 | Gallery

Tribes from around US gather to discuss legal marijuana

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
Uber says database containing driver info was breached

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

Signed contracts to buy US homes rise to 18-month high

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
Fiat Chrysler recalls 467K SUVs for possible stalling

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

US consumer sentiment slips in February on icy weather

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
Southwest nearly done inspecting planes that were grounded

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

.

Obituaries

Gabriel T. Traub

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

 
Maria Kraszewski

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

.

Comics

Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

 
Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

 
Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

 
.

Home Seller 2/28/2015

Right at Home: Decor made of bicycle parts

By The Associated Press | From Page: HSR2Comments are off for this post | Gallery

Real estate transactions for Feb. 28, 2015

By Daily Republic | From Page: HSR3

Average US rate on 30-year mortgage rises to 3.80 percent

By The Associated Press | From Page: HSR3