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Iraqi National Assembly Fails To Select A Speaker

Interim President al-Yawir (file photo) Baghdad, 25 March 2005 (RFE/RL) -- Legislators in Iraq opened their National Assembly session today after a several-hour delay while they sought -- without success -- to choose a speaker.

Shi'ite, Kurdish, and Sunni representatives are struggling to find a suitable and willing Sunni Arab candidate for the position.

The Shi'ite Islamist alliance that came out ahead in elections two months ago and the Kurdish coalition that came in second say they want to choose a Sunni Arab as speaker, in order to help bring the minority into the political process.

A leading Sunni, interim President Ghazi Ajil al-Yawir, has rejected the job. He is a candidate instead for one of the country's two vice presidential spots.

Under former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, the minority Sunnis dominated all levels of government.


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