Iraq names moderate Sunni parliament speaker in move to break political deadlock
Irak: un sunita es elegido presidente del Parlamento
El Parlamento iraquí fue obligado a elegir a un Presidente de la República kurdo ... un primer ministro chiita y un presidente del Parlamento sunita.
Martes, 15 de julio de 2014 - BBC - El Parlamento en Irak eligió a Salim al Jubori, un representante sunita, como presidente de ese cuerpo legislativo.
Es uno de tres altos puestos que deben ser compartidos entre las comunidades sunita, chiita y kurda.
El Parlamento todavía debe elegir a un presidente kurdo y un primer ministro chiita.
Legisladores iraquíes eligen a Salim al-Jubouri como nuevo presidente del Parlamento
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2014-07-15 20:46:56 XINHUA-CRI
La mayoría de los legisladores iraquíes votaron el martes a favor de Salim al-Jubouri para elegirlo como presidente del Parlamento del país, en un paso clave para iniciar el proceso encaminado a formar un nuevo gobierno.
Al-Jubouri ganó 194 votos de los 273 legisladores que asistieron a la sesión.
Según la Constitución iraquí, el presidente del Parlamento debe lograr la mayoría absoluta de 165 votos en el Parlamento de 328 escaños.
Los dos candidatos para el máximo cargo del Parlamento eran Salim Abdullah al-Jubouri, al frente del grupo suní Alianza de Poderes Nacionales, y la parlamentaria Shrouq al-Ubaiyachi, del bloque independiente Alianza Civil.
Según la Constitución iraquí, se debe elegir al nuevo presidente del país en los 30 días siguientes a la elección del presidente del Parlamento.
Después de eso, el nuevo jefe de estado tendrá medio mes para pedir al bloque con más legisladores que nombre a un primer ministro, quien será el responsable de formar un nuevo gobierno.
At least three-quarters of the Iraqi people are members of one of the country's 150 tribes. Iraq's society is very feudalistic, with most of the population identifying him/herself with one tribe. Tribes have become an increasingly important part of Iraqi society. Even those Iraqi citizens without a tribal background often turn to neighborhood shaykhs for representation or assistance with the government.The tribe is an extremely important factor in Iraq, even in a republic. The vast majority of Iraqi people identify themselves as members of one of the country's 150 tribes. Even those Iraqi citizens without a tribal background often turn to a neighborhood sheikh for representation or assistance with the government.
Kerry urge a formar Gobierno en Irak tras elección del presidente parlamento
Mundo Mar 15 julio 2014 14:24 EFE
kerry-alargadaWashington, 15 jul (EFE).- El secretario de Estado de EE.UU., John Kerry, valoró hoy la elección del presidente del Parlamento de Irak y urgió a los iraquíes a que concluyan la formación de Gobierno que incluya a todas las comunidades del país, para enfrentar unidos la amenaza de grupos extremistas “con la urgencia que demanda”.
Los diputados iraquíes eligieron hoy presidente del Parlamento a Selim al Yaburi, de la coalición suní Fuerzas Iraquíes, lo que puso fin a dos semanas de parálisis política por el fracaso de las dos sesiones anteriores.
Kerry señaló que la elección de Al Yaburi es el “primer paso” en el “proceso fundamental” para formar un nuevo Gobierno “que pueda tener en cuenta los derechos, aspiraciones y preocupaciones legítimas de todas las comunidades iraquíes”.
“Urgimos a los líderes iraquíes que sigan este logro con la rápida formación de un nuevo Gobierno, siguiendo con el cronograma de la Constitución iraquí”, señaló Kerry en un comunicado.
El Parlamento iraquí, surgido de los comicios legislativos de abril pasado, deberá ahora elegir a un jefe de Estado, que a su vez designará a un primer ministro.
El secretario de Estado urgió además a la comunidad internacional a que apoye el proceso político en Irak, que “refleja las aspiraciones de los cerca 14 millones de iraquíes que votaron por nuevos representantes desde todas las partes del país”.
Kerry señaló la importancia de que el nuevo Gobierno incluya a líderes que “reflejen un amplio consenso nacional” y aseguró que el futuro del país depende de la capacidad de los líderes iraquíes de permanecer unidos contra la amenaza del grupo radical Estado Islámico de Irak y del Levante (ISIL, en sus siglas en inglés).
“Irak se enfrenta una amenaza existencial y los líderes iraquíes tienen que confrontarla con la urgencia que demanda”, enfatizó el secretario de Estado.
Irak está inmerso en una grave crisis debido al avance de grupos insurgentes suníes, que el pasado 10 de junio se hicieron con el control de Mosul, la segunda ciudad del país, y desde allí han progresado por otras zonas del norte y el centro.
Los yihadistas del Estado Islámico declararon además el 29 de junio un “califato islámico” que abarca desde la provincia siria de Alepo a la iraquí de Diyala.
ONU insta a políticos iraquíes a que formen un nuevo gobierno
Sábado, 12 de julio de 2014 - BBC - El enviado de la ONU advirtió que el país se arriesga a hundirse en el caos.
El enviado especial de Naciones Unidas a Irak dijo a los políticos de ese país que deben avanzar en la formación de un gobierno o se arriesgarán a que el país se hunda en el caos.
Nickolay Mladenov señaló en una declaración que el fracaso en la elección de tres puestos clave del gobierno: presidente, primer ministro y presidente del parlamento, sólo beneficiará los intereses de quienes buscan dividir a Irak.
Las potencias mundiales urgieron a los políticos iraquíes a que se unan frente al movimiento del Estado Islámico (ISIS), que ha logrado tomar el control de grandes territorios del país.
Iraqi parliament breaks deadlock to elect speaker
Jul. 15, 2014 11:41 AM ET Baghdad (AP) — Iraqi lawmakers broke their deadlock Tuesday and elected a new speaker of parliament, taking the first step toward forming a new government that is widely seen as crucial to confronting militants who have overrun much of the country.
Still, it was not clear whether lawmakers had reached a larger deal that would also include an agreement on the most contentious decision — the choice for prime minister. The incumbent, Nouri al-Maliki, has ruled the country since 2006, but is under intense pressure to step aside. So far, he has insisted on staying for a third term.
After voting behind closed doors, the legislature tallied the results on a whiteboard wheeled into the hall that showed Sunni lawmaker Salim al-Jubouri winning with 194 votes out of 273 cast in the 328-seat parliament. A second candidate, Shorooq al-Abayachi, received 19 votes. There were 60 abstentions.
"Today's step demonstrates the country's democracy and national unity," said Shiite lawmaker Abbas al-Bayati, putting a decidedly positive spin on a vote that was delayed twice. "We have now a legislative body that can do its job in building democracy."
Lawmakers broke into applause after al-Jubouri passed the 165-vote threshold needed to win the post, before the proceedings turned to electing two deputy speakers — one Shiite and one Kurd.
According to the constitution, parliament now has 30 days to elect a president, who will then have 15 days to ask the leader of the largest bloc in the legislature to form a government. Then a prime minister will be picked.
Under an informal agreement that took hold after the 2003 U.S.-led invasion, the speaker's chair goes to a Sunni, the presidency to a Kurd and the prime minister's post to a Shiite.
The inability of al-Maliki's government to prevent the militant offensive over the past month has deeply shaken confidence, both at home and abroad, in his ability to hold Iraq together. His opponents — and even many of his former allies — accuse him of trying to monopolize power and alienating the Sunni minority.
Al-Maliki has so far refused to withdraw his candidacy, and insists he has a mandate because his bloc won the most seats in April elections.
Despite al-Jubouri's election, signs quickly emerged that any agreement on a president, prime minister and eventually a new Cabinet may still take some time.
Al-Bayati, the State of Law coalition legislator, said the Shiite bloc's support for al-Jubouri Tuesday was predicated upon reciprocal support for al-Maliki's prime minister bid.
"There is an ethical and political agreement with the blocs to whom we gave our vote today to support their candidate for the post of parliament speaker, and to vote for our candidate for the post of prime minister: al-Maliki" al-Bayati said.
Sunni lawmaker Mohammed Ikbal, a member of al-Jubouri's bloc, denied there was any such deal.
"We do not support a third term (for al-Maliki) because of the wrong policies in the country and the deterioration in the security situation," Ikbal told The Associated Press. "We support any other candidate from the National Alliance."
Perhaps just as important were the divisions that emerged within the National Alliance, the umbrella group for Shiite parties, during the vote for the first deputy speaker.
According to lawmakers, there was an agreement between all of the alliance's blocs to present the State of Law's Haider al-Ibadi as the Shiite nominee for deputy speaker. But at the last minute, a second Shiite candidate, Ahmed Chalabi, was also nominated for the post.
When it came time to cast ballots, al-Ibadi and Chalabi nearly split the vote, forcing lawmakers to cast their ballots again. Chalabi, a secular Shiite and one-time Washington favorite widely disliked by Iraq's Sunnis, eventually withdrew his candidacy to bring an end to the challenge.
But the dispute pointed to the deep divisions within the National Alliance, and suggested that Shiite parties are still far from settling on a common candidate for the crucial post of prime minister.
The panic that initially gripped Iraq after Sunni militants led by the Islamic State extremist group seized the country's second-largest city, Mosul, and swept across northern and western Iraq has largely subsided. After appearing on the verge of collapse, Iraq's security forces have stiffened while the insurgent offensive has eased, leading to relative stabilization on the front lines.
Clashes and attacks still take place daily in the main conflict zones, including Tuesday in two towns located in a Sunni belt that runs just south of the capital.
Two bombs in quick succession killed at least nine people in the town of Madain, some 20 kilometers (15 miles) southeast of Baghdad, officials said.
The first roadside bomb targeted a military convoy as it traveled through the town at dawn, a policeman said. A second explosion then struck as pro-government militia members rushed to the scene to help those hit by the first blast.
The police official said five militiamen and four soldiers were killed, while seven others were wounded. A medical official confirmed the figures.
Another roadside bomb killed four soldiers, including two officers, during a patrol in the town of Youssifiyah, located 20 kilometers (15 miles) south of the capital, a police officer said. Four other soldiers were wounded in the attack, he added.
A medical official confirmed the casualty figures. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to release information.
Iraq names moderate Sunni parliament speaker in move to break political deadlock
(Reuters) - Iraqi politicians named a moderate Sunni Islamist as speaker of parliament on Tuesday, a long-delayed first step towards a power-sharing government urgently needed to save the state from disintegration in the face of a Sunni uprising.
But after quickly picking Salim al-Jabouri as speaker, lawmakers argued bitterly for hours over his Shi'ite deputy, suggesting they are still far from a deal on a new government or a decision on the fate of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki.
Iraq's army and allied Shi'ite militia launched an assault to retake the executed former dictator Saddam Hussein's home city Tikrit from the al Qaeda offshoot known as the Islamic State and allied militants, who seized it in mid-June during a lightning assault through the north.
The stunning advance by the militants over the past month has put Iraq's very survival in jeopardy even as its politicians have been deadlocked over forming a new government since an election in April.
Maliki, whose State of Law coalition won the most seats but would need allies to form a government, has ruled since the election as a caretaker, defying demands from Sunnis and Kurds that he step aside for a less-polarising figure.
Washington has made clear that setting up a more inclusive government in Baghdad is a requirement for its military support against the insurgency.
Under Iraq's governing system in place since the post-Saddam Hussein constitution was adopted in 2005, the prime minister is a member of the Shi'ite majority, the speaker a Sunni and the largely ceremonial president a Kurd. Each of the three is meant to have two deputies, drawn from the other two groups.
Picking the Sunni speaker is parliament's first task, but Sunni leaders had previously refused to nominate one until a deal was reached on a prime minister. Parliament now has 30 days to elect a president, who will then have 15 days to nominate a prime minister.
Ibrahim al-Jaafari, Maliki's predecessor as premier and now head of the National Alliance, a Shi'ite umbrella group that includes Maliki's State of Law bloc and rivals, hinted that a wider deal had been reached: the alliance would vote for Jabouri and expected support from Sunni politicians in return.
"It is the nature of any deal that any commitment should be mutual. It doesn't make sense that we support them and they don't support us," Jaafari said. However, he did not specify whether the Shi'ites now intended to nominate Maliki for a third term as prime minister or choose another candidate.
Parliament chose Haidar al-Abadi, a member of Maliki's State of Law bloc, as the Shi'ite deputy speaker, but only after three rounds of voting and hours of contentious debate, during which he was unexpectedly challenged for the post by Ahmad Chalabi, a former ally of the United States.
Although Chalabi eventually withdrew, his decision to stand suggested ongoing discord within the Shi'ite alliance over how to allocate top posts, perhaps including the premiership itself.
However, the decision to award the deputy speaker's post to Maliki's ally Abadi could increase the likelihood that the prime minister steps aside: an aide to a senior Kurdish politician, speaking on condition of anonymity, noted that in the past the Shi'ite parties had chosen deputy speakers from outside the prime minister's bloc, to maintain unity among Shi'ite factions.
Iraq's army and allied Shi'ite militia have managed to halt the advance of Sunni fighters north of Baghdad but have struggled to recapture territory, launching several attempts so far to retake Tikrit.
The Defence Ministry said troops launched their latest assault on the Tigris River city, operation "Sharp Sword", at dawn on Tuesday, attacking from the south and battling insurgents in the southern districts.
An officer taking part in Tuesday's assault said uniformed volunteer fighters and militia forces, including the Shi'ite Asa'ib Ahl al-Haq, were fighting alongside the army while following orders from their own militia commanders.
The assault was launched from the village of Saddam's birth, Awja, some 8 km (5 miles) south of the city which the army retook on the night of July 3.
Tuesday's initial fighting focused around the Shishin district of south Tikrit, the officer and another soldier said, adding that the army was also heading towards Saddam's former presidential palace compounds, where Islamic State fighters had held captives and run their Islamic court trials. Soldiers were also fighting to take Tikrit hospital on strategic high ground.
Across the Tigris River to the east, the army landed paratroopers in Albu Ajeel, a village where Iraqiya state television said some insurgents had fled. One army officer in the fighting said they were surprised the resistance they experienced was less fierce than expected.
Five civilians including two young girls and an elderly woman were killed when by stray fire from an army helicopter, a local police officer said.
The Sunni insurgency is led by the Islamic State, which shortened its name from the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) after last month's advance into Iraq and declared its leader caliph - ruler of all Muslims.
It now controls a swathe of territory from Aleppo in Syria close to the Mediterranean to the outskirts of Baghdad.
In Iraq last month it initially won the support of other armed Sunni groups, including tribal fighters and Saddam loyalists, but there have been signs that those groups are turning against the al Qaeda offshoot in recent days.
Residents of a town north of Baghdad found 12 corpses with execution-style bullet wounds on Monday following fighting overnight between Islamic State fighters and the Naqshbandi Army, a group led by Saddam loyalists.
Washington hopes a more inclusive government in Baghdad could save Iraq by persuading moderate Sunnis to turn against the insurgency, as many did during the "surge" offensive in 2006-2007 when U.S. troops paid them to switch sides.
Two suicide bombers detonated explosive-packed cars at a restaurant on the road between Samarra and Tikrit, a witness said. A doctor at Samarra hospital said 12 soldiers and volunteer fighters were killed in the blast.
In the town of Mada'in, southeast of Baghdad, two bombs at an army recruitment centre killed nine people, police and medical sources said. In Yousefiya, also south of Baghdad, four soldiers were killed by a roadside bomb on their patrol.
In Falluja, which fell to Islamist militants and other insurgents in January, shelling and air strikes began near dawn and continued through the morning. A doctor at Falluja hospital said five people were killed and 17 wounded, including a child. Helicopters dropped barrels loaded with explosive in the town of Karma, northeast of Falluja, killing four civilians and wounding 22, a source at the town's hospital said. The hospital was later bombed so severely that it could not receive patients, the source said.
Fighting has yet to reach Baghdad itself, but the capital is frequently attacked by bombers. Two car bombs in quick succession in the Shi'ite Sadr City district killed 12 people and wounded more than 20, police and hospital sources said.