Wednesday, March 16, 2005

BBC News: Iraq's new parliament is holding its inaugural session on Wednesday, with the main factions still unable to agree on a coalition government. Iraqi officials had hoped that a power-sharing deal would be struck before the parliament convened. However, more than six weeks after Iraq's first democratic elections, negotiations are still taking place. In the absence of a deal, the opening will be ceremonial. MPs will not chose a president and vice-president. Negotiators say they hope to reach agreement on a new government by the end of the month.

But hours earlier, CNN wrote this...

One day before the first meeting of Iraq's transitional National Assembly, representatives of major parties reached an agreement "in principle" on formation of a new government, officials said Tuesday. The agreement between Kurdish leaders and members of the United Iraqi Alliance includes the appointment of Jalal Talabani as president -- the first time a Kurd would hold such the post -- and of Ibrahim al-Jaafari as prime minister, according to Dawa party official Adnan Ali al-Kadhimi. Negotiations continued into Tuesday night, and most party representatives are expected to sign the document Wednesday as the assembly holds its historic meeting Wednesday at 11 a.m. (3 a.m. ET). (CNN)

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