The Iraqi parliament elected Mohammad Al-Halbousi as a new speaker on Saturday, marking the first step towards establishing the new government four months after an inconclusive national election.
Al-Halbousi tallied 169 votes to beat out Khalid al-Obaidi’s 89, local media reported.
Al-Halbusi was governor of the province of Anbar, one of the main battlegrounds of the war against the ISIL Takfiri group, until he was elected to parliament on a local list in May.
In Iraq, the speaker of parliament is always Sunni Arab while the prime minister is picked from the Shiite majority and the president is a Kurd.
Parliament was due to elect a speaker and two deputies during its first meeting on Sept 3, but failed to do so as lawmakers were still trying to determine which competing bloc had the most seats.