Iraq has met its new parliament today, and it seems remarkably similar to the old parliament.
The winners of the March 7 election were sworn in early today as the new parliament of Iraq, and, 18 minutes after their session opened, the parliament went into recess.
The remarkably split parliament has publicly clashed over a number of issues, but the big issue today was that US Ambassador Hill was invited to the first session. The Sadr bloc threatened to walk out over Hill’s presence, but in the end the parliament recessed so fast that never happened.
Expectations for the new parliament are incredibly low, and the growing frustration among average Iraqis at the government’s inability to solving even straightforward issues like power outages and lack of clean drinking water has many wondering why they are even bothering.
Still, officials say the new parliament seating was a “symbolic milestone,” that may actually encourage the various political blocs to form some sort of coalition government. Then the seven years of failed policies can resume again, in earnest.