BAGHDAD — Iraq’s parliament will meet Wednesday to elect a new president, a crucial step toward naming a new prime minister and government, but questions are growing about whether anyone can save the country after the collapse of its army and the loss of as much as half its territory to the radical Islamic State.

In a sign of the erosion of political order, 100 people are competing in Wednesday’s vote – for a post whose occupant in past years was determined in advance by power brokers.

“Tomorrow’s vote will be devoid of any political deals,” Salim al Jubouri, the speaker of the parliament, a Sunni Muslim, said Tuesday.

The most prominent candidate is Barham Salih, a former prime minister of the Kurdistan Regional Government who is highly critical of the current prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki.

By tradition, the speaker of parliament should be a Sunni, the prime minister a Shiite and the successor to the outgoing president, Jalal Talabani, should be a Kurd from his Patriotic Union of Kurdistan party.

But the Kurds have announced a referendum on independence and are halfway out the door.