Iraqi National Assembly Chooses Speaker

Another blow for the “I pray for chaos” crowd….

 BAGHDAD, April 3 (Xinhuanet) — Iraqi lawmakers elected Sunni Arab politician Hachim al-Hasani as speaker for the National Assembly(parliament) on Sunday, marking the first step toward forming a new government after months of deadlock.

With the absence of 43 legislators including outgoing Prime Minister Iyad Allawi, the newly elected parliament convened for the third time on Sunday more than two months after the Jan. 30elections.
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Lawmakers voted in a secret ballot on five candidates nominated by different sectarian blocs and Hasani garnered 215 votes which enabled him to get the post.
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Hussein al-Shahristani, a Shiite nuclear scientist, got 157votes and became the first deputy speaker and Aref Tayfur, a Kurd, became the second deputy with 96 votes.
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The expected result came after the winning Shiite list issued an ultimatum for the Sunni lawmakers to accept Hasani, the incumbent minister of industry.
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Sunni politicians previously preferred to nominate Meshaan al-Jubouri to take the post but had to have his name withdrawn as a compromise to the complain about his link to the toppled Saddam Hussein regime.
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“It was the desire by all the different parties and groups,” Hasani told reporters on the sidelines of the meeting, hinting that some MPs had to “make some sacrifice.”

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Kate McMillan
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Kate McMillan is the proprietor of small dead animals, which has won numerous awards including Best Conservative Blog and Best Canadian Blog. She contributed nearly 300 pieces to OTB between November 2004 and June 2007. Follow her on Twitter @katewerk.