1:20 pm - Sunday August 19, 2018

Iraq’s new parliament convenes to choose PM

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BAGHDAD: Iraq’s new parliament has convened amid pressure on lawmakers to quickly choose a new prime minister who can confront a militant blitz that threatens to rip the country apart.

The inaugural session opened on Tuesday with the playing of Iraq’s national anthem. The proceedings are chaired by the legislature’s oldest member, Mahdi al-Hafidh.

The country’s top Shia cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, urged lawmakers last week to agree on a prime minister, president and parliament speaker before meeting in hopes of averting months of wrangling that could further destabilize the country.

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