x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Iraq factions reach power-sharing deal

Iraq's deeply divided political factions have reached a power-sharing deal more than eight months after inconclusive general elections

Iraq’s deeply divided political factions have reached a power-sharing deal more than eight months after inconclusive general elections, officials from two main parties said.

The deal, brokered late on Wednesday night after three days of talks between the rival factions, paves the way for an end to a months-long power vacuum that has witnessed growing violence in the country.

The Iraqi parliament is scheduled to meet at 3pm (12pm GMT) to elect a speaker, the first step in forming a government.

"A power-sharing agreement has been concluded and parliament will meet at 3pm to elect Osama al-Nujaifi as speaker," a government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh told AFP, referring to a Sunni MP from the Iraqiya bloc of former premier Iyad Allawi.

An Iraqiya spokesman Intissar Allawi confirmed a deal had been concluded late on Wednesday between the rival political parties.

"I can confirm that there was an accord last night but I cannot give details," he said.