Iraqi parliament postpones vote for new president as violence renews – Al-Tahrir News Network

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On Wednesday, Iraq’s parliament decided to postpone voting for a new president until further notice.

The delay came in response to a request from the Kurdish political bloc, said Parliament Speaker Salim Al-Jabouri while addressing lawmakers.

The vote is part of broader negotiations over forming a new government as Iraqi President Jalal Talbani’s term has expired.

Amid accusations of power hoarding and marginalizing the Sunni minority, calls are intensifying for Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki to step down though he has vowed to remain in his post, a position he has held since 2006.

Iraqi President Jalal Talbani, who suffered a stroke in late 2012, returned to the country on Saturday after more than 18 months abroad for medical treatment.

Talbani’s potential successors include former Deputy Prime Minister Barham Saleh and the Kirkuk province official Najm Al-Din Karim.

Since 2003, Iraq’s political parties have agreed to assign the presidency to a Kurd, prime minister to a Shiite, and speaker of parliament to a Sunni.

The next president will task a new prime minister with forming a new government.

Meanwhile, the Islamic State (IS) militant group claimed responsibility for a deadly attack at a checkpoint near a Shiite shrine in the country’s capital Baghdad. The attack occurred on Tuesday resulting in the death of 31 Shiite worshipers.

In the western province of Anbar, deadly clashes erupted on Wednesday between security forces and militants outside the city of Ramadi, killing at least eight militants, according to health officials in the province.

The Sunni militant group IS captured large areas of Iraq last month, including the second-largest city Mosul, dragging the country into its worst state of violence and chaos since the withdrawal of the US troops in 2011.