Updated at 8:42 p.m. EST, Nov. 11, 2010
The long-awaited selection of the new government overshadowed any other news coming out of Iraq today, to the point that only two casualties were reported. Those two occurred in the capital.
Lawmakers selected Iraqiya member Osama al-Nujaifi as their new speaker, signaling to many a relative shut out of Sunnis in the new government. His deputies will be Sadrist Qusai al-Suhail and Aref Tayfour from the Kurdistan Alliance.
With 195 votes in support, President Jalal Talabani won his second term. A last minute walkout by 57 members of the Iraqiya party did not prevent Talabani from security a two-thirds majority on the second casting of votes. Several issues, including Iraqiya leader Ayad Allawi‘s role heading the new National Council on Higher Policy, were the source of the walkout. Furthermore, Maliki apparently reneged on reinstating several Iraqiya members accused of Ba’ath Party ties. It is unclear if the walkout will affect the outcome as Talabani did receive majority support.
Talabani then asked Nouri al-Maliki to form the new government. A spokesman for Maliki said the prime minister would officially begin his term after next week’s Eid holidays. Tareq al-Hashimi and Rafie al-Issawi are also expected to keep their slots as vice president and deputy premier.
Kurdistan President Massoud Barzani welcomed the deal that ended an eight-month-long deadlock that began when the Sunni-supported, non-sectarian Iraqiya claimed the largest number of seats in national elections but not enough to wield actual power in the selection campaign.
In Baghdad, an I.E.D. wounded two people in Zaafaraniyah.
Two people were kidnapped in Kirkuk.
In Mosul, four suspects were arrested.