Friday, March 6, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Iraqi parliament squabbles over when to next meet

By
July 08, 2014 |

BAGHDAD — With political leaders deadlocked, Iraq’s parliament squabbled Monday over when to hold its next session, potentially delaying the formation of a new government for weeks despite the threat from extremists who have seized control of a large chunk of the country and declared the establishment of an Islamic state.

The acting speaker of parliament initially announced that the legislature would not meet again until mid-August because there was no agreement among factions over the top leadership posts — particularly the prime minister, with incumbent Nouri al-Maliki facing a campaign to replace him.

But after an uproar over the long delay, speaker Mahdi al-Hafidh announced Monday night that there was a preliminary agreement among lawmakers to meet Sunday, July 13. But even that appeared uncertain, since al-Hafidh added that an official announcement of the date would not come until Tuesday.

With politicians struggling to even agree on when to meet, it was hard to see how they could quickly forge a compromise on the much thornier issue of a new government. The impasse, coupled with the military’s sluggish counteroffensive, underlined just how difficult a task Iraqis face as they try to keep their country from fracturing along sectarian and ethnic lines.

The military suffered a new setback in its battle with the extremist advance Monday when the top commander of the armed forces battling militants in the west was killed by a mortar strike.

The United States, which withdrew the last American troops from Iraq in 2011, and other world powers have pressed for the quick formation of a new government, as has Iraq’s top Shiite cleric, the revered Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani. They are calling for an inclusive government that will draw support among Iraq’s Sunni minority away from the insurgency, led by a radical al-Qaida breakaway group called the Islamic State.

In Washington, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said the U.S. was disappointed that Iraq’s leaders haven’t moved more quickly to unify the country. He said difficult steps must be taken to solve the problem, but that “reaching those agreements and making those difficult decisions are necessary for Iraq to survive.”

Lawmakers met last week for the new parliament’s first session since April elections, but the meeting ended without agreeing on a new prime minister, president and speaker of parliament. The legislature had been expected to meet again Tuesday, but that session was called off since no progress had been made over the past week untangling the political situation.

The main point of contention right now is the post of prime minister, which holds most of the power in Iraq. Al-Maliki’s opponents — and many former allies — want him removed, accusing him of monopolizing power during his eight years in office and contributing to the current crisis by failing to promote reconciliation with Sunnis.

Al-Maliki, whose State of Law bloc won the largest share of seats in April’s election, has vowed he will not abandon his bid for a third consecutive term. But he didn’t win a majority in parliament and so needs allies to form a government.

An alliance grouping Shiite parties has yet to decide on its candidate for the job. The Sunnis and Kurds have refused, in turn, to present their respective nominees for speaker and president. Under an informal system that took root after the 2003 U.S.-led invasion that ousted Saddam Hussein, the prime minister’s job goes to a Shiite, the president’s post to a Kurd and the speaker of parliament’s chair to a Sunni.

Some of the stiffest criticism of al-Hafidh’s initial decision for an Aug. 12 parliament session came from the Shiite alliance, an umbrella group that includes al-Maliki’s State of Law bloc. It said the lengthy delay doesn’t serve the country’s interests, and it urged him to set a date no more than a week away — a demand that July 13 meets.

But Sunni lawmaker Dhafir al-Ani said it was the Shiite alliance that demanded the postponement due to difficulties within its ranks in settling on a candidate for prime minister.

There’s no guarantee that even with a new government Iraq can roll back the militants. The insurgent blitz has overrun most Sunni-majority areas of the country — including the second largest city Mosul — in a matter of weeks. But it has slowed since encountering stronger resistance in Shiite-dominated areas.

Last week, the group declared the establishment of a caliphate ruled by Shariah law in the land it controls in Iraq and neighboring Syria.

The Iraqi military launched an offensive aimed at recapturing the northern city of Tikrit, but the insurgents remain firmly in control of the city and have harried the army with roadside bombs.

Near Beiji north of Tikrit, government troops protecting the country’s largest oil refinery remain under siege.

Sabah al-Nuaman, the spokesman for counterterrorism services, said airstrikes hit a 60-vehicle insurgent convoy moving toward Beiji on Monday, destroying as many as 45 of them. The report could not be independently verified.

The government has also struggled for months to wrest back ground lost west of Baghdad in the Sunni-dominated province of Anbar.

On Monday, a mortar attack killed the commander of the Iraqi army’s 6th division, Maj. Gen. Najim Abdullah Ali, while he was overseeing a raid on the Anbar village of Karma, army spokesman Brig. Gen. Saad Maan Ibrahim said.

Al-Maliki lamented Ali’s death, calling him a “holy warrior” who was “martyred in the battlefield as he was fighting the terrorists.”

Sunni militants seized control of the city of Fallujah, near Karma, and parts of the Anbar provincial capital of Ramadi in January. The government has since reasserted its control of Ramadi, but Fallujah remains in insurgent hands.

In Baghdad, a suicide bomber rammed a vehicle packed with explosives into a checkpoint in the Shiite neighborhood of Kazimiyah, killing five policemen and three civilians, a police official said. He said 16 people were wounded.

A medical official confirmed the casualty figures.

Both officials spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to release information.

 

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

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

.

Solano News

1 hurt as rash of Fairfield shootings continue

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A1

 
Work progresses on freeway interchange project

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Random thoughts on getting older by Annabelle . . . and Susan

By Susan Winlow | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Caltrans announces planned I-80 closures

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A1

Solano College grad becomes Marvel superhero

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

 
Bay Area Stage readies ‘Mockingbird’ production

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

Let’s take a 2nd look at 1st cars

By Tony Wade | From Page: A2

 
 
Bike to School Day poster contest begins

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A3

Youth talent, scholarship awards dinner set

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A4

 
Free 8-week Journey Through Grief class set

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A4

 
Audubon Society to hold talk on blackbird decline

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A4

Fairfield police log: March 4, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
Suisun City police log: March 4, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

.

US / World

SF hospital performs rare chain kidney swap

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
El niño might not be enough to help Ca drought

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

Covered California down overall but up among youth, minorities

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
App developers take a swing at playgrounds

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

Off-duty officer accidentally shoots relative

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Student protests block access to campus

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

GOP legislator enters race for Boxer’s seat

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Japanese tsunami debris washing ashore

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Device in ‘Superbug’ outbreak not approved by FDA

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
States on edge about the future of health insurance markets

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Freight train carrying crude oil derails in Illinois

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Supreme Court allows for compassionate release

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Air Force veteran who saved orphans in Korean War dies at 97

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6 | Gallery

 
Homeowners group denies playhouse for cancer-stricken girl

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Report: Suicides by girls and young women continue to climb

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Jurors in Jodi Arias case: We were 11-1 for death penalty

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Experts: Ferguson must move quickly to rebuild public trust

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Plane skids off LaGuardia runway, slams into fence near bay

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7 | Gallery

Father tells jury about boy’s death at Boston Marathon

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Hillary Clinton email trove under review for release

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Attack on US envoy part of S.Korea’s violent protest history

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10 | Gallery

 
Last Ebola patient is released in Liberia

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Floods kill 42 people in Tanzania, authorities say

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Death toll in east Ukraine mine blast reaches 33

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Syria says it killed military leader of al-Qaida group

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Iraq says Islamic State militants ‘bulldozed’ ancient site

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Companies form coalition to conserve during drought

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

 
.

Living

Today in History: March 6, 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: March 6, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Horoscopes: March 6, 2015

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A9

 
Should I tell my coworker that her romantic emails are being read at work?

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A9

.

Entertainment

Week in preview March 6-12, 2015

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

 
Shania Twain to launch final tour in June

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Elizabeth McCracken wins $20,000 short story prize

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Dying wish comes true: Dutch woman with ALS sees Rembrandts

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Announcer Craig Sager returns from leukemia to NBA sideline

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Comedy Central’s ‘Too Many Stars’ means plenty of laughs

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Jaime Camil shines as telenovela star on ‘Jane the Virgin’

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Review: ‘Unfinished Business’ should never have started

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Review: ‘Second Best’ Marigold Hotel lives up to its title

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
Entertainment calendar: March 6, 2015

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B4

TVGrid

By Daily Republic | From Page: B6

 
.

Sports

Maddon makes debut with Cubs in spring tie with A’s

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
Hunter Pence breaks arm in Giants’ 8-6 win over Cubs

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
Jones-Drew retires, Woodley released by Raiders

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
Veteran defensive tackle Dockett joins 49ers on 2-year deal

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
Local Report: Labit pitches SCC to win over Folsom Lake

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B8

Prosecutors: No criminal charge for NASCAR driver Kurt Busch

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
As NFLPA election looms, Smith hopes to keep ‘boring job’

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Ashley, McConnell lead No. 5 Arizona to 99-60 rout of Cal

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Holmes opens 4-shot PGA lead at Blue Monster

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

This date in sports history for March 6, 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

 
.

Business

Toyota rolls out first mass-market cars to run on hydrogen fuel cells

By The Washington Post | From Page: C1 | Gallery

 
Ringling Bros. Circus to give up elephant acts in 3 years

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11 | Gallery

Google providing car insurance quotes in latest expansion

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

 
Can Etsy keep its folksy brand and make shareholders money?

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

Applications for US jobless aid inch up to a 10-month high

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

 
A robust US job market is expected to keep delivering

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

Largest US banks all pass latest round of Fed ‘stress tests’

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

 
.

Obituaries

Michele Jarvis

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Robert Charles Thierry

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

Thelma A. Roche

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9