Kurdish candidate Barham Saleh sweeps to the post of president of Iraq following which he instructs former vice president and veteran Shia politician Adel Abdel Mahdi to form a government.
Iraq's current system of democracy is hardwired for sectarianism, but its discontents suffer without prejudice.
The session was held after 16 political groupings, including those of Shia cleric Muqtada al Sadr and outgoing Prime Minister Haider al Abadi, reached an accord to create the biggest bloc in parliament.
In the international media, Iraq is often portrayed between sectarian binaries. The reality is far more simple. Iraqis of all backgrounds suffer from corruption and nepotism, and that, more than anything, unites them.
Iraqi elections' big winner Moqtada al Sadr promised a non-corrupt political system, less sectarian division, and sovereignty under a coalition he wants to create. But the challenge of realising them is bigger than forming a government.
The Iraqi election haven't just given us a winner. Sadr's evolution from a sectarian cleric feared by the US to the most influential leader is the personification of the change that Iraqis have been searching for.
Iraq has been struggling to come out from under the political morass that has gripped the country after the US invasion. The victory of Muqtada al Sadr's broad alliance could be the first sign that things might change for the better in Iraq.
The May 12 election, the fourth since the 2003 US-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein, will be dominated by the same leaders and factions that emerged 15 years ago.
The de-Baathification and complete dismantling of the existing political, military, academic, and civil services institutions by the US and their local allies has condemned the country's political and economic growth for the foreseaable future.
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