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Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Iraqi Parliament In Turmoil

It seems it is not a breeze after all. Two months after the historic elections in Iraq, in only its second meeting, Parliament still cannot agree on a government. I think this puts into focus that, while the elections were successful, they will not determine whether Iraq is successfully turned into a democracy. For that we will have to wait because only time will tell.

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraq's parliament erupted in acrimony at only its second sitting on Tuesday and journalists were thrown out after lawmakers berated leaders for failing to agree on a new government, two months after historic elections.
When parliamentarians were told that despite last-minute talks that delayed the session no agreement had been reached, even on the post of parliamentary speaker, several stood up to say leading politicians were letting down the Iraqi people.

"The Iraqi people who defied the security threats and voted -- what shall we tell them? What is the reason for this delay?" Hussein al-Sadr, a politician in the bloc led by Prime Minister Iyad Allawi, asked the assembly before the news blackout.

As the meeting grew heated, the interim speaker ordered journalists to leave and Iraqi television abruptly switched to Arab music. Allawi walked out of the session shortly afterwards.

"You can say we are in a crisis," Barham Salih, a leading Kurdish politician, told reporters.

Ahead of the meeting blasts echoed across Baghdad and a militant group said in an Internet statement it had fired four mortars into the fortified Green Zone where politicians were meeting. There were no reports of damage.

Two months after more than 8 million Iraqis braved suicide bombers and insurgent threats to vote in the Jan. 30 polls, many are increasingly angry that despite haggling no agreement has been reached on forming a government.
Iraq parliament in uproar over stalemate


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