Iraqi courts step in to restore parliament

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Iraq's highest court yesterday ordered parliament to resume its sessions despite a deadlock among politicians who have failed to agree on the formation of a government seven months after an inconclusive election.

The ruling party may pressure Shia, Sunni and Kurdish factions to reach a deal, but it does not mean an immediate end, when parliament reconvenes, to an impasse that has stoked tensions just as Iraq emerges from the worst of the war.

Parliament's temporary speaker, Fouad Masoum, said he expected to set a date for the session within days.