Iraqi Lawmakers End Standoff, Pick Speaker

Sunni engineer vows to work with Shiites, expedite reforms
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 19, 2009 7:15 PM CDT
Iraqi parliament member Iyad al-Samarrai speaks to the press outside the Iraqi parliament in Baghdad's fortified 'Green Zone' Wednesday, Nov. 26 2008.   (AP Photo/Ali al-Saadi, Pool)

(Newser) – Iraq ended months of political paralysis today by selecting Ayad al-Samarai as its new parliamentary speaker, the BBC reports. An even-tempered Sunni engineer, al-Samarai failed to win a big enough majority for 4 months because of fears he sought to oust Shiite Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, the Los Angeles Times reports. The new speaker promised to "work with everyone" and facilitate long-delayed reforms.