Chaotic Scenes As Iraq's New Parliament Holds First Session

Chaotic Scenes As Iraq's New Parliament Holds First Session

Andrew H. Sweet

Shia leader Moqtada al-Sadr has the upper hand in forming a new government. But he will have to manage tensions with rival Shia groups that continue to reject the election results and demand a say in the government formation process.

As the meeting got underway on Sunday, a coalition known as the Shia Coordination Framework, an alliance of Shia factions which object to the vote results, submitted a list of lawmakers' names it claimed now hold the biggest parliamentary bloc with 88 seats, rather than al-Sadr.

According to Iraq's constitution, the largest bloc in parliament can choose the new prime minister. By custom, Iraq's parliamentary speaker is a Sunni. The prime minister is a Shia and the president a Kurd.

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