Iraq’s independent MPs to discuss the Antichrist’s invitation

Iraqi Parliament's during a session for electing President of Republic, Feb. 7, 2022. (Photo: Iraqi PM Office/HO/AFP)
Iraqi Parliament’s during a session for electing President of Republic, Feb. 7, 2022. (Photo: Iraqi PM Office/HO/AFP)

Iraq’s independent MPs to discuss Moqtada al-Sadr’s invitation

On Monday Al-Sadr called on independent MPs to attend the upcoming session for the presidential election, and promised that voting MPs would have a place in the national majority government. 

 Kurdistan 24   2022/03/22 11:08

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Iraq’s independent members of parliament are set to discuss a proposal laid out by the biggest winner of the October 2021 elections, Moqtada Al-Sadr, concerning their attendance at the legislative house’s upcoming presidential election. The announcement came from an Independent MP, Hussein Arab, on Monday, but no date for the meeting was disclosed.

Following a number of failed attempts to elect a president of Iraq, mainly due to lack of quorum and legal jostling over various candidates’ constitutional legitimacy, the Iraqi parliament recently set March 26 as the final date for electing the president.

A failure to do so would lead Iraq into political uncertainty, as it would bolster the idea of holding a new parliamentary election. It took the political parties over a year to agree on an election law for the latest ballot.

On Monday Al-Sadr, the biggest winner of the recent election with 73 of the chamber’s 329 seats, called on independent MPs to attend the upcoming session. For their attendance, Al-Sadr promised that his alliance – composed of Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and Sunni Taqadum (Progress) Coalition – would allow independent MPs to participate in the national majority government.

The independent representatives will hold a meeting to discuss the proposal, Hussein Arab, an MP of the group, told the state-run Iraqi News Agency (INA) on Monday. The discussion will result in a clear position, he stated.

If Sadr’s alliance permits independent MP’s to have a say in nominating the prime minister, they will be willing to attend the session, Adnan Al-Jabri, another member of the group, told state media.

To make a quorum for the session, an attendance of at least 220 members of parliament is required, per an Iraqi Federal Court ruling. Sadr and his allies hold approximately 170 seats, while their rivals, mainly pro-Iranian groups, hold nearly 130 seats.

The independent MPs’ seats are estimated to be around 40.

Six months after the election, Iraq has only been able to elect the Speaker of Parliament – one of three top positions.

There are currently 40 candidates for the position of President of the Republic. While a largely ceremonial post, the seat has traditionally been reserved for the Kurdish parties since the elections of 2005.

The KDP’s candidate for the position is Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Minister of Interior Rebar Ahmed, while the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) has re-nominated current Iraqi President Barham Salih.

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