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Last Updated: Monday, 11 June 2007, 12:48 GMT 13:48 UK
Iraqi MPs oust outspoken speaker
Mahmoud Mashhadani
Many MPs viewed the speaker as erratic and embarrassing
Members of the Iraqi parliament have voted to replace the speaker after the latest in a series of scandals involving the Sunni Arab politician.

The move came a day after Mahmoud Mashhadani allegedly ordered bodyguards to beat a fellow MP, his deputy said.

Iraqi TV said Mr Mashhadani's political bloc, the National Concord Front, had agreed to let him stand down.

He has previously been criticised for calling anti-US insurgents "heroes" and slapping another Sunni MP in the face.

The parliament has given Mr Mashhadani's bloc a week to come up with another nominee.

Heavy-handed

Correspondents say a majority of Iraq's 275 MPs appear to view Sunday's incident as the last straw, branding Mr Mashhadani's behaviour erratic and embarrassing.

He became embroiled in a shouting match with a Shia Turkoman MP, Firyad Muhammad Omar, who had complained to the speaker about his heavy-handed personal security guards.

Mr Mashhadani responded with a torrent of abuse, and - according to Mr Omar - an order to his guards to beat him up.

The former physician and hardline Islamist did not attend Monday's session, which was chaired by his Shia Muslim deputy, Khalid Attiyah.




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