Negotiations over government continue in Iraqi assembly

Negotiations over government continue in Iraqi assembly

[JURIST] Iraqi lawmakers Tuesday failed to nominate a parliament speaker in a raucous second session of the country's National Assembly, as the role of Sunni Arabs in the new Iraq [JURIST news archive] government remained a question. Assembly members had promised an agreement on a Sunni candidate for the position during the session, but negotiations quickly broke down after a delayed start. Shiite and Kurdish leaders had been pushing for the nomination to go to interim President Ghazi al-Yawer [Wikipedia profile], but he turned down the post, claiming it wouldn't help Sunni attempts to gain negotiating power in the assembly despite their small numbers. A member of the Shiite party United Iraqi Alliance said the party was considering nominating Sheik Fawaz al-Jarba, a Sunni Arab from the party for the speaker position. Although the positions of president and prime minister appear set, lawmakers have struggled to get the National Assembly organized almost two months after elections. The Assembly is scheduled to complete drafting of the constitution by mid-August. Also Tuesday, the Assembly was expected to finalize regulations for the body. AP has more.