"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."
Baghdad, July 15 - Iraqi lawmakers Tuesday elected Salim al-Jubouri as the speaker of the newly-constituted parliament, taking a key step towards starting the process of forming a new government.
Al-Jubouri won 194 votes of lawmakers out of 273 who attended the session, Xinhua reported.
According to the Iraqi constitution, the speaker should have the absolute majority of 165 votes out of the 328-seat parliament.
The two candidates nominated for the speaker post were Salim Abdullah al-Jubouri for the Sunni gathering named the Alliance of National Powers, and female Member of Parliament Shrouq al-Ubaiyachi for the Civil Alliance, an independent parliamentary bloc.
Salim al-Jubouri, born in 1971 in Iraq's eastern province of Diyala, obtained his degree of doctorate in law in 2001. He was elected as MP and head of the legal committee in the first parliament after the US-invasion in 2005, and again was elected MP and head of human rights committee in the outgoing 2010 parliament.
In the April 30 parliamentary elections, Jubouri was the head of a Sunni bloc for Diyala province named Diyala is Our Identity, which is affiliated to the Osama al-Nujaifi's Motahidoun bloc. Jubouri's bloc won most of Diyala's 14 parliamentary seats.
According to the Iraqi constitution, a new president should be chosen within the next 30 days after the election of the speaker.
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.
Iraq has been witnessing its worst security conditions since about a month ago when armed Sunni insurgents, spearheaded by the Islamic State, formerly known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS), launched a surprise offensive that led to the debacle of Iraqi security forces and the fallen of a large part of the country's northern and western territories.