Iraqi parliament delays key session
Iraq's new parliament has postponed a key session scheduled for Tuesday due to lack of agreement on the post of speaker.
The parliament said in a statement on Monday that the next session will be held instead on August 12, after discussions with the heads of the blocs and concerned parties.
The session intends to focus on the government formation process.
"Another chance will be available for more dialogue and discussions to arrange that meeting," the statement read.
This comes as Iraq's Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani has recently criticized the parliament for failing to unite in order to choose key posts for the country in the face of threats by terrorists.
In a Friday prayers sermon delivered by Sistani’s representative, Ahmed al-Safi, in the holy city of Karbala, the Shia cleric called the parliament's inability to form a new government a "regrettable failure."
Under a de facto agreement among communities in Iraq, the prime minister is a Shia Arab, the president a Kurd, and the parliament speaker a Sunni Arab.
Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has rejected recent calls by the United States and its allies to form an emergency administration or a so-called national salvation government.
The Iraqi premier has said that a salvation government would amount to a coup against the country’s constitution and would undermine the results of parliamentary elections held on April 30.
The developments come as Iraqi armed forces have been engaged in fierce clashes with the ISIL terrorists, who have threatened to take their acts of violence to other Iraqi cities, including the capital, Baghdad. However, advances by the ISIL cult has been slowed down as Iraqi military and volunteer forces have begun engaging them on several fronts.