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Iraqi parliament names speaker, clearing way for government formation

[JURIST] Iraq's transitional National Assembly [Wikipedia entry] took an important step forward Sunday, naming a Sunni Arab, Hajim al-Hassani, as parliament speaker [AP report]. The selection ends days of shouting, bickering, and accusations. Two deputies were also chosen--Kurdish politician Aref Tayfour, and Shia politician Hussein al-Shahrastani. With Assembly leaders now selected, the body can now name Iraq's new president [CNN report], expected to be Kurdish Alliance member Jalal Talabani. Once in office, the president and his two vice-presidents have two weeks to name an interim prime minister. After that, the legislative body will begin writing a constitution and setting up a permanent government.

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