"The duration for a prime minister-designate to select his cabinet members, and present the list to the parliament is 30 days."
Baghdad, July 13 - Iraq's new parliament convened Sunday in what is considered to be a key step to starting the government formation process and helping avoid a possible split-up amid continuous sectarian clashes.

Out of the 328 members in the Iraqi parliament, 233 members attended the session, which was chaired by the acting speaker Mahdi al-Hafidh, Xinhua reported.

The lawmakers were expected to choose a new speaker after the Sunni Arab politicians managed late Saturday to pick Salim al-Jubouri as candidate for the head of the legislature. They were also expected to elect two deputy speakers later in the session.

According to the Iraqi constitution, a new president should be chosen within the next 30 days after the election of the speakership.

Following that, the new head of state will have half a month to ask the bloc with the most lawmakers to nominate a prime minister, who will be responsible for forming a new government.

The duration for a prime minister-designate to select his cabinet members, and present the list to the parliament is 30 days.

With the country's ever deepening security crisis, a new unity government is now considered vital for Iraq to counter the Sunni insurgency that threatens to split the country apart.


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