Iraqi politicians named a moderate Sunni Islamist as speaker of parliament on Tuesday, a long-delayed first step towards a power-sharing government urgently needed to save the state from disintegration in the face of a Sunni uprising.

But after quickly picking Salim al-Jabouri as speaker, lawmakers argued bitterly for hours over his Shi’ite deputy, suggesting they are still far from a deal on a new government or a decision on the fate of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki.

Iraq’s army and allied Shi’ite militia launched an assault to retake the executed former dictator Saddam Hussein’s home city Tikrit from the al Qaeda offshoot known as the Islamic State and allied militants, who seized it in mid-June during a lightning assault through the north. […]