Iraq’s parliament postponed a vote of confidence in prime minister-designate Mohammad Allawi’s government for a second time Saturday, as political wrangling continued ahead of a looming deadline.
Parliament speaker Mohammed Halbusi said that the crunch vote, which had already been delayed last week for lack of a quorum, would now be held on Sunday.
Midnight (2100 GMT) Sunday is the deadline for lawmakers to end a protracted political vacuum and agree on a new government or see President Barham Saleh designate a premier unilaterally.
Failure to go ahead with the vote could also trigger a call for mass protests from populist cleric Moqtada Sadr, whose supporters form the largest bloc in parliament and who has demanded that lawmakers approve Allawi’s government.
Iraq has been without a government since Allawi’s predecessor Adel Abdel Mahdi quit under pressure from the street two months ago.