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country in chaos

Iraqi parliament fails to declare state of emergency after MPs don't show up

The Iraqi parliament reportedly couldn't reach a quorum — the minimum number of lawmakers needed to pass a political motion — thus preventing it from voting on a state of emergency in the wake of the growing jihadist insurgency that has overrun major cities in the country's north and is pressing towards the capital city of Baghdad.

A government official confirmed to Agence France-Presse that only 128 of 325 MPs showed up for today's vote, which Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki had requested on Tuesday. The meager turnout exemplifies the ineffectiveness of the Iraqi parliament, which has passed "little significant legislation in years," according to AFP, and is often barely attended.