Iraq’s new parliament has re-elected its speaker for a second term, the first step towards forming a new government after a general election whose results have been contested by powerful Iran-backed factions.
In a reflection of the tensions, the new parliament’s first session on Sunday was marked by disarray, with the eldest member, Mahmoud al-Mashhadani, being evacuated to the hospital after falling ill.
200 legislators picked incumbent Speaker Mohamed al-Halbousi for a second term, while 14 voted for al-Mashhadani.
Al-Halbousi, whose Sunni party came in second with 37 seats, is the former governor of Anbar province and was supported by al-Sadr, Kurdish and Sunni groups.
Al Jazeera’s Mahmoud Abdelwahed reports from Baghdad.
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