ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – If the quorum required for the upcoming Iraqi Parliament session to elect the country’s next president isn’t met, then it will be the “end” of the legislative house, Muqtada Al-Sadr, the biggest winner of Iraq’s October elections, warned in a tweet early Friday.
The populist Shiite politician’s remark came amid warnings that if lawmakers fail to elect a president within six months of the October elections, parliament will be dissolved, and a call for new elections will be made. The Iraqi Federal Supreme Court (FSC) recently ruled on this procedure.
A minimum of 220 lawmakers are required for parliament to hold its session on Saturday, the FSC has ruled.
Sadr called on independent lawmakers to attend Saturday’s session to break the political deadlock over government formation. He said he expects a “dignified” stance from the MPs that do not have their own political parties and warned if the session is not held on Saturday due to lack of quorum, it is the “end” of parliament.
He added that it is “shameful to leave Iraq and its people with no government.”
Out of the 41 candidates running for the largely ceremonial position, the competition is mainly between the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) nominee, Reber Ahmed, and the incumbent Iraqi President Barham Salih of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK).
Sadr’s movement, along with the Sunnis Siyada (Sovereignty) Alliance and the KDP, recently formed a tripartite coalition called “Saving the Homeland”.
The tripartite alliance has nearly 170 seats in the parliament while their rivals, the Shiite Coordination Framework (SCF), have approximately 130. The SCF, which opposes the tripartite’s goal of forming a majority government, also supports the PUK’s Salih for another term as president.