BAGHDAD – The Iraqi parliament's Sunni blocs say they have agreed on a candidate for the post of parliament speaker, paving the way for the legislature to take the first formal step toward forming a new government.
Under an informal arrangement that took hold after the 2003 U.S.-led invasion, the speaker's chair goes to a Sunni, the presidency to a Kurd and the prime minister's post to a Shiite. Parliament is scheduled to meet Sunday amid pressure to quickly elect new leadership, starting with a new speaker.
Sunni lawmaker Mohammed al-Karbooli said in a statement late Saturday that Sunni parties decided on Salim al-Jubouri as their nominee for speaker.
Al-Karbooli said al-Jubouri promised not to support a third term for embattled Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, who is under pressure to step aside.