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July 23, 2014 AT 5:39 AM
Iraq's parliament, which had been due to elect the country's president on Wednesday, postponed the vote by a day, delaying the formation of a power-sharing government urgently needed to confront a Sunni Muslim uprising. The advance by Sunni Islamist militants who seized swathes of northern Iraq last month has put Iraq's survival in jeopardy. Its politicians have been deadlocked over forming a new government since an election in April. Washington has made clear that setting up a more inclusive government in Baghdad is a requirement for its military support against the insurgency. Under Iraq's governing system, in place since the post-Saddam Hussein constitution was adopted in 2005, the prime minister is a member of the Shi'ite majority, the speaker a Sunni and the largely ceremonial president a Kurd.