Saturday, April 18, 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
.

Solano News

 
 
Child care program helps teen parents, students

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Fairfield park shooting suspects take plea deals

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: A1

 
Wood students entertain guests at Epcot

By Susan Hiland And Susan Winlow | From Page: A2

 
Vacaville questions state draft plan on water cuts

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3

 
Board denies parole for violent Vacaville robber

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: A3

 
Solano County Science Fair continues to grow

By Bill Hicks | From Page: A4 | Gallery

Fairfield police log: April 16, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

 
Suisun City police log: April 16, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

 
.

US / World

Family awarded rights to rare coins

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Investigators say identity-theft suspect had 74 aliases

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

‘Opt Out’ of Common Core movement gaining strength

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Dog flu outbreak sweeps across the Midwest

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

AG announces anti-bias training program

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Sunken aircraft carrier rediscovered off California coast

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Gas-line blast closes Highway 99, injures at least 11

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
Iraqi officials believe Saddam’s top deputy killed

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

Germany mourns citizens lost in plane crash

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Following Alps crash, debate over pilotless planes heats up

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

.

Opinion

 
We should apologize for failing today’s youth

By Deon Price | From Page: A8

Time for meaningful financial reform

By Paul A. Volcker | From Page: A8

 
.

Living

Today in history: Saturday, April 18, 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: April 18, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Horoscopes: April 18, 2015

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A7

 
My daughter is upset that I didn’t attend my former in-law’s funeral

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A7

Idea from Adam Sandler film used to soothe dementia patients

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
.

Entertainment

.

Sports

.

Business

California home prices hit new 7-year high, sales rebound

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
Secrecy shrouds decade-old oil spill in Gulf of Mexico

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5 | Gallery

Frederick’s of Hollywood reveals closing of retail stores

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
Don’t plan to line up for Apple Watch next week

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

Google shaking up search recommendations on smartphones

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
Glaxo recalls flu vaccine due to potency problem

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

.

Obituaries

Douglas Craig Sparks

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Carole Anspach

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Dennis Burkhart von Ting

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

 
Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

 
Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7