Iraq Nickolay Mladenov (right) speaks to the press with his translator after a meeting Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani (unseen) on June 1, 2014 in the central shrine city of Najaf
Iraq Nickolay Mladenov (right) speaks to the press with his translator after a meeting Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani (unseen) on June 1, 2014 in the central shrine city of Najaf © Haidar Hamdani - AFP
Iraq Nickolay Mladenov (right) speaks to the press with his translator after a meeting Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani (unseen) on June 1, 2014 in the central shrine city of Najaf
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AFP
Last updated: July 13, 2014

Iraq must make progress on government or face "chaos"

Iraqi politicians must move forward on forming a government or risk the country descending into "chaos", the UN's envoy said on Saturday, a day before lawmakers were scheduled to meet.

Nickolay Mladenov said Iraq's bickering MPs would have only themselves to blame if they failed to make progress, after a previous attempt to appoint a speaker ended in abject failure.

"Failing to move forward on electing a new speaker, a new president and a new government risks plunging the country into chaos," he said in a statement.

"It will only serve the interests of those who seek to divide the people of Iraq and destroy their chances for peace and prosperity."

World powers and Iraq's top Shiite cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani have appealed for lawmakers to put aside their seemingly intractable differences and form a united front against a jihadist-led onslaught that has overrun swathes of the country.

But on July 1 the first parliamentary meeting since April elections ended in acrimony after Kurdish and Sunni Arab lawmakers walked out amid heckling and threats.

Another session was scheduled for the following week, but was postponed for more than a month until after the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.

That triggered outrage among Iraqis incredulous at the lack of urgency among their politicians, and the session was brought forward to Sunday.

"If serious solutions to the current problems are not found, then all political leaders will have to share their responsibility for failing to act with the necessary sense of duty at a time of crisis," Mladenov said.

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