Iraqi Federal Court Clears Path for New Parliament Speaker Election

- Thursday, 09/05/2024, 11:37

The Iraqi Federal Supreme Court on Tuesday nullified a parliamentary decision to delay the election of a new speaker, setting the stage to expedite the selection process which had been bogged down by months of political infighting. The court’s ruling came after the dismissal of Mohammed al-Halbousi, paving the way for a renewed push to fill the critical legislative role.

Iraqi Federal Court Clears Path for New Parliament Speaker Election

Source: istock

The controversy began when parliament attempted to elect a new speaker on January 14. Shaalan al-Karim emerged as the frontrunner with 152 votes, surpassing Salim al-Eisawi’s 97 votes and former speaker Mahmoud al-Mashhadani’s 48 votes. However, intense debates and quarrels during the session led Acting Speaker Mohsen al-Mandalawi to postpone further proceedings indefinitely.

This judicial intervention has reignited the selection process, a pivotal event for Iraq’s legislative body. The struggle for the speakership primarily involves Sunni parliamentary factions. The Taqaddum Party, formerly led by al-Halbousi, has been adamant that the new speaker should be from its ranks, a demand facing resistance from other Sunni groups advocating for broader representation.

Adding to the urgency, the Coordination Framework, a coalition of Shiite parties, issued an ultimatum to Sunni blocs on Monday, demanding they finalize their nominee within a week. This deadline aims to ensure that a session to elect the new speaker proceeds without further delay.

In Iraq’s post-2003 power-sharing arrangement, the presidency is allocated to the Kurds, the parliament speaker’s position to the Sunnis, and the prime minister’s office to the Shiites, maintaining a delicate balance among the country’s major ethnic and sectarian groups.