Iraq's parliament convenes Monday

June 8, 2010 at 10:18 AM
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BAGHDAD, June 8 (UPI) -- The new parliament in Iraq is scheduled June 14 to convene for the first time since March 7 elections, Iraqi state television reported Tuesday.

Iraqi President Jalal Talabani told state-run television the new parliament would be seated Monday, CNN International reports.

The Iraqi Supreme Court approved the results of the March 7 election for the 325-member Council of Representatives last week. The parliament, by Iraqi law, has 15 days to be seated. Parliament must then choose a new president, who names the new prime minister.

The Iraqiya slate of former interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi narrowly defeated the State of Law coalition of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki in the March contest. None of the top vote-getters secured the majority needed to unilaterally form a new government, however.

A coalition between State of Law and the Iraqi National Alliance, a Shiite slate, would be four seats shy of the majority, though they haven't agreed on a candidate for prime minister.

State of Law has kept Maliki as its candidate while INA is discussing former Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari and Iraqi Vice President Adel Abdul Mehdi.

Representatives from the Sadrists, a political slate loyal to radical cleric Moqtada Sadr and largest vote-getter in INA, has voiced its objection to Maliki.

Allawi contends he has the right to form a new government as the winner of the March 7 contest.

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