NO END IN SIGHT

Sunnis, Kurds Walk Out of Government

Despite pressure from the U.S., the United Nations, Iran, and Shiite clergy, Shiite politicians failed on Tuesday to name a successor to unpopular Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, causing the Sunnis and Kurds to walk out of the session. With Iraq in chaos, parliament is now not likely to meet again for a week. Since Saddam Hussein’s ouster, the prime minister has always been a Shiite, the speaker a Sunni, and a ceremonial president a Kurd. However the Kurds and Sunnis say they will not name their leaders until Shiites pick a new prime minister. While the arguing continued, the al Qaeda offshoot fighting in the country has declared its own caliphate.