Iraqi parliament approves Jalal Talabani as president despite MP walk-out
Kurdish incumbent Jalal Talabani was re-elected by lawmakers as the Iraqi president on Thursday, despite a walk-out by members of Sunni-backed Iraqiya led by former prime minister Ayad Allawi after a dispute over a day-old- power-sharing deal was being honoured, Xinhua reported.
Talabani was easily re-elected by 199 votes after the Iraqi cross-sectarian political bloc walked out of the parliament first session in a protest before a vote on Iraq's new president.
Most members of the Iraqia bloc walked out of the session because they refused to vote on the president post before the parliament approve their demands which had earlier been brokered between the Iraqia bloc and other parliamentary blocs.
The newly elected parliament speaker, Osama al-Nujaifi walked out of the session protesting the "deep differences and the mistrust among the political blocs." But later he returned to chair the session.
"We have walked out of the session, because we think that the political deals must be respected," Haidar al-Mullah, spokesman of Iraqia told reporters outside the parliament hall.
The Iraqia lawmakers wanted the parliament to approve their demands which had been brokered by the Iraqia and its rival blocs.
One of the Iraqia demands was to issue a law for the National Council for Strategic Policies, which would give its nominated leader Ayad Allawi more power on security issues, and to review the de-Bathification law,
The Iraqia bloc considered the refrain of the parliament to approve their demand before voting on the president post as an intention by the rival blocs not meet their demands.
The parliament continued its session with the absence of the Iraqia lawmakers as the parliament still has the quorum.