Iraqi parliament meets to try to resolve crisis

BAGHDAD – Iraqi lawmakers met on Wednesday in an attempt to end a protracted standoff over the 2008 budget and other bills, which has led to some calls for parliament to be disbanded.

Scores of lawmakers stormed out of the legislature on Tuesday, blaming each other for the deadlock and demonstrating the deep distrust that exists between the country’s different ethnic and sectarian groups.

Lawmakers have been haggling over the $48 billion budget for weeks. A deal to pass the budget, an amnesty law that could free thousands of prisoners and a bill defining relations between Baghdad and local authorities disintegrated amid disputes over voting procedures.

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