AFP: Iraq’s parliament will reconvene on July 13, the last day before a constitutional deadline, the country’s foreign minister said on Thursday, in a rare sign of forward political momentum.
ARBIL, July 8, 2010 (AFP) – Iraq’s parliament will reconvene on July 13, the last day before a constitutional deadline, the country’s foreign minister said on Thursday, in a rare sign of forward political momentum.
“An important meeting of parliament is scheduled for July 13,” Hoshyar Zebari told reporters at a media conference in Arbil, capital of Iraq’s autonomous region of Kurdistan, 320 kilometres (200 miles), north of Baghdad.
The parliament, the second democratically elected chamber since the fall of Saddam Hussein, met briefly for the first time on June 14 after an inconclusive March 7 general election, before going into recess.
There was a one-month deadline from that date for members to reconvene, but the parliamentary timetable has been overshadowed by a lack of progress on forming a new government, including who becomes prime minister.
Iyad Allawi, a Shiite former premier, insists as the election’s narrow victor that he should become prime minister, especially as his broadly secular Iraqiya coalition had strong backing in Sunni-dominated provinces.
He has warned a failure to see Sunni Arab voters properly represented in power could reignite the sectarian violence that saw tens of thousands killed in the years after Saddam’s ouster.
Allawi narrowly pushed serving Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki’s Shiite-led State of Law alliance into second place in the election, but the incumbent is doggedly fighting to stay on and serve a second term.