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Iraq postpones election of new president due to lack of quorum

February 8, 2022 at 1:29 pm

An Iraqi security guard walks outside the parliament building in Baghdad as a scheduled vote for the republic’s president was indefinitely postponed after most major political blocs boycotted the parliamentary session on 7 February 2022. [SABAH ARAR/AFP via Getty Images]

The Iraqi parliament yesterday postponed the election of a new president until further notice, due to lack of quorum.

The media office of the Iraqi House of Representatives said only 58 lawmakers out of 329 attended yesterday’s session.

An official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, confirmed that there would be no vote to elect a president due to the lack of a quorum, which requires two-thirds of parliamentarians to attend.

Several political blocs announced that they would boycott yesterday’s session.

Earlier on Saturday, the leader of the Sadrist movement, Muqtada Al-Sadr, whose bloc won a majority of votes in October’s election, announced that his lawmakers will not participate in this session.

The Sovereignty Coalition led by Parliament Speaker Muhammad Al-Halbousi, an ally of Al-Sadr, also announced that he would boycott the session along with the Kurdistan Democratic Party.

Iraq: Kurdish candidate ‘respects’ court decision to suspend presidential bid

Numerous Shia groups expressed “the need not to hold the session.”

Earlier on Sunday, Iraq’s Supreme court temporarily suspended the presidential bid of former minister Hoshyar Zebari causing a major disruption of Iraq’s political process.

The Supreme Court said it had received a complaint from MPs that Zebari’s candidacy was “unconstitutional” because of the corruption claims dating back to 2016. It added that the suspension is “temporary” while the court considers the case.

In 2016, 68-year-old Zebari was removed from his position as finance minister after financial and administrative corruption allegations. He is one of two main contenders for the presidency. The other favoured candidate is the incumbent, Barham Saleh.