IRAQ PARLIAMENT ELECTS SPEAKER AS TIKRIT PUSH FALTERS

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BAGHDAD: Iraq’s sharply divided parliament elected a speaker on Tuesday in a step towards the delayed formation of a new government, as a renewed bid to recapture Tikrit from militants ended in retreat. World powers and Iraq’s top Shiite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, have piled pressure on members of parliament (MP)s to set aside their differences in the face of a jihadist-led offensive that has overrun swathes of territory north and west of Baghdad. After two fruitless sessions earlier this month, MPs elected Salim al-Juburi as speaker, a post traditionally held by a Sunni Arab that must be filled before the process of forming a government can go ahead.

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AFP

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