Iraqi lawmakers canceled their planned session of parliament this week because they still haven’t formed a government. Parliament Speaker Adnan al-Pachachi had called the session in hopes that the deadline would spur Shiite, Sunni, and Kurdish parties to reach a compromise on the highly divisive question of who will be prime minister. But nobody is budging. The Sunnis and Kurds say the Shiites’ choice, Ibrahim al-Jaafari, is completely unacceptable to them. The Shiites, who hold the largest block of seats, say they are entitled to pick the leader they want. As the stalemate continues, some elements are apparently trying to intimidate lawmakers with violence. The brother of Saleh al-Mutlak, a Sunni party leader, was found dead this week, while the brother of leading Sunni politician Tareq al-Hashemi was killed last week.
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