Crowds take over parliament building in Iraq

STORY: Infighting among Shi'ite and Kurdish groups in particular has prevented the formation of a government, hampering reforms needed as the country struggles to recover from decades of conflict.

More than nine months since an October election, lawmakers tasked with choosing a president and prime minister looked no closer to an agreement, bringing the country to a record 290 days without a head of state or cabinet.

The last longest deadlock was in 2010, when after 289 days Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki got a second term.

The outgoing government of Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi continues to run the country. If parties cannot agree on a new government, Kadhimi might stay on as caretaker until new elections can be held.

The paralysis has left Iraq without a budget for 2022, holding up spending on much-needed infrastructure projects and economic reform.

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