Iraqi Parliament Elects News Speaker

Iraq's parliament has elected a new speaker after months of political paralysis.

Sunni lawmaker Ayad al-Samarraie won Sunday with 153 votes, far ahead of the runner-up candidate with just 36 votes.

The decision ends a nearly four-month impasse over picking a successor for Mahmoud al-Mashhadani, who resigned Dec. 23 amid widespread complaints about his erratic behavior. The stalemate left parliament unable to address a number of crucial reforms, such as passing laws governing oil and gas investments.

Under Iraq's political system, the speaker post goes to a Sunni Arab. But the main Sunni bloc could not agree on a candidate. Al-Samarraie is a member of parliament's finance committee.