WASHINGTON: Divided Republicans in the US House of Representatives failed to elect a speaker in the opening round of voting for the first time in 100 years Tuesday as right-wing rebels blocked the party favorite.

California lawmaker Kevin McCarthy was unable to earn the support of a simple majority among those present in the lower chamber of Congress, which flipped to narrow Republican control after last year's midterm elections.

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He didn't even take a lead in the ballot -- securing 203 votes against Democratic minority leader Hakeem Jeffries' 212 -- and the process now goes to a second round.


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