07/16/2014, 00.00
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Patriarch of Baghdad grateful for the election of the Speaker of the House, now for the government

After sending a letter-appeal to MPs, Mar Sako welcomes the appointment of the Sunni al-Salim Jabouri at the helm of the House. He calls for a renewed effort to complete the appointments (President and Prime Minister of the Republic) and open the doors to the formation of the executive. In Mosul, the Islamists "mark" the homes of Christians.

Baghdad (AsiaNews) - "Thank God our prayers are being heard" and the political and institutional stalemate that has beleaguered Iraq precipitate seems destined to end. Speaking to AsiaNews Chaldean Patriarch Mar Louis Raphael I Sako does not hide his relief after having yesterday launched a prayerful appeal to the Iraqi parliament hasten the appointment of the "three presidents".

In the afternoon, in fact, the Assembly elected the Sunni al-Salim Jabouri as Speaker; a first step towards the consolidation of the political and institutional life of the nation, even the seat of the President of the Republic and the Prime Minister are still vacant. The interim Prime Minister - and the winner of the April elections - is the Shiite Nouri al Maliki.

Commenting on the appointment yesterday, His Beatitude believes that "now the formation of the new government will finally" be decided on; he confirms that "my letter was distributed to all members of Parliament" and hopefully contributed something to the rebirth of the country.

After weeks of stalemate and political divisions between Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds - exacerbated by the advance of what was the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS, Sunni jihadists linked to al-Qaeda), and what is now the militia of the Islamic caliphate - , the House has elected its Speaker yesterday.   He is the Sunni al-Salim Jabouri, a moderate Muslim. Now it remains to be seen whether politicians in Baghdad will be able to proceed speedily to the appointment of the Head of State and the Prime Minister, who will then be called on to form the new government.

Al-Jabouri received 194 out of 273 valid votes (out of a total of 328); the second candidate, Shorouq al-Abayachi, received 19 votes. Agreement must now be reached on the appointment of the President of the Republic (who must be a Kurd) and the Chief Executive, a Shia Arab reflecting the majority in the country. However, consensus on the latter two charges still seems a distant hope, in spite of prayers and appeals from Christians and Muslims who call for "unity" in the face of separatist movements.

Meanwhile the conditions of Christians in the north, especially in Mosul are becoming increasingly dramatic.  In Mosul, the population is forced to survive without water and electricity. As Auxiliary Bishop of Baghdad. Shleimon Warduni told the webiste Baghdadhope, the Islamists have begun to "mark the homes of Christians with the letter N" of Nazarat (Christian) and have "occupied the Chaldean bishopric hoisting their flag". The city occupied by the militia is now considered as "lost" and inaccessible for Shiites, Kurds, Christians and Sunnis themselves who do not recognize the power of the Islamic Caliphate.


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Patriarch of Baghdad, Mosul Christians should be able to stay in Iraq, not forced into exile
Ethnic cleansing first against Yazidis, soon against Christians
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