Iraq's newly-elected parliament held its first session on Monday, more than three months after the country's legislative elections. Lawmakers are expected to vote for a parliamentary speaker and are to elect a new president within a month, Efe reported. Iraqi President Fuad Masum said in the opening session that he hoped the new parliament would choose a strong and efficient government capable of fulfilling Iraqis' demands. On Sunday, Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, whose coalition with the Iraqi Communist Party won the largest number of seats in the May 12 polls, announced an agreement with other political alliances to create the largest parliamentary bloc. This year's elections were the first since the Iraqi government declared in Dec. 2017 that the Islamic State terror organization had been completely eradicated from the large swaths of northern and western Iraq that it controlled since mid-2014.