Iraq’s new parliament holds first session

Baghdad : Iraq’s newly elected parliament Tuesday held its first session for the unity government that may help pull the country back from the brink of a possible split-up amid continuous sectarian clashes.

Senior lawmaker Mahdi al-Hafidh chaired the session as the newly-elected parliament members took oath, Xinhua reported.

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All the 225 lawmakers gathered to discuss the nomination of a new president.

According to the Iraqi constitution, a new president should be chosen within the 30 days of the election of the speaker.

Following that, the new head of state will have half of month to ask the bloc with the most lawmakers to nominate a prime minister, who will be responsible for forming a new government.

The duration for a prime minister-designate to select his cabinet members, and present the list to parliament is 30 days.

With the country’s escalating security crisis, a new unity government is now considered vital for Iraq to counter the Sunni insurgency that threatens to split the country apart.

On June 10, Sunni militant groups led by the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) took over cities of Mosul and Tikrit, as Iraqi security forces were driven into disarray when waves of surprise attacks were mounted against them.