Third time was the charm for Iraq’s parliament, as after two failed meetings beforehand they today finally managed to hold a vote for the parliamentary speaker, naming Salim Jabouri in a majority vote.
Jabouri is a moderate Sunni Islamist chosen by the Sunni MPs as their candidate of choice. Though not a legal requirement, Iraq has traditionally given Sunni Arabs the speakership, while giving a Kurd the presidency, and a Shi’ite Arab the premiership.
The vote to appoint Jabouri means the next step is to decide on a new president. There is so far no indication if the speaker vote meant deals were in place for the other two positions, though there was some speculation that some progress was made on that front.
Outgoing Kurdish President Jalal Talabani has been boycotting cabinet meetings, as have all Kurdish ministers. It is unclear who would be the Kurdistan candidate of choice for a president, or indeed if the Kurds will offer a candidate at all, as they move closer to a referendum on secession.