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UPDATED: 09:14, March 10, 2006
Iraq's first parliament session delayed
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Iraqi president Jalal Talabani agreed to delay the first session of the new parliament by seven days to March 19 at the request of the dominant Shiite alliance, a spokesman for the president said on Thursday.

Members of the dominant Shiite United Iraqi Alliance (UIA) earlier on Thursday asked the president to delay the opening of the new parliament by a week, the spokesman said.

Talabani announced Monday that the new parliament would hold its first meeting on March 12, a constitutional deadline.

But UIA which takes up 130 of the 275-seat parliament asked Talabani for a delay as Talabani, who was backed by Kurds and Sunnis, was opposed to UIA's nomination of outgoing Shiite Prime Minister Ibrahim Jaafari as the next prime minister.

Source: Xinhua

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