BAGHDAD — Iraq's vice president called on parliament to convene Tuesday, taking the first step toward forming a new government to present a united front against a rapidly advancing Sunni insurgency while Britain's top diplomat started an official visit to the country to urge the country's leaders to put their differences aside for the good of the nation.
Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's political bloc won the most seats in April 30 elections — with 92 seats out of the 328 — but he needs support from other blocs to govern with a majority. His efforts to form a coalition have been complicated by the current crisis as critics blame his failure to promote national reconciliation for the Sunni anger fueling the insurgent gains and want him to step down.
Khudeir al-Khuzaie statement ordered the new parliament to hold its first session on Tuesday and to be chaired by the eldest member.
Read tomorrow's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.