Iraq’s parliament met for the first time since the election today, with 255 of 328 MPs showing up, with others boycotting it outright. The session lasted less than a half hour before a walk out of Sunni and Kurd MPs meant they no longer had the quorum needed to vote on a parliamentary speaker.
Even the brief meeting reflected Iraq’s divided state, with a shouting match breaking out over a complaint by a Kurdish MP that the central government has stopped paying all officials in Kurdistan, leading Shi’ites to blame the Kurds for the ISIS takeover of the West.
“We will crush beneath our shoe anyone who tears down the Iraqi flag,” one of the State of Law MPs screamed at the Kurdish constituents, while others demanded the Kurdish Peshmearga defeat ISIS for the Iraqis before trying to assert any rights for the Kurdish region.
Iraq’s Shi’ite leader Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani had sought not only a speaker at today’s session, but for the parliament to name a consensus president and premier as well. In the end, none of that happened, and