Iraq's top court postpones verdict on parliament speaker election amid bribery allegations

Iraq's top court postpones verdict on parliament speaker election amid bribery allegations

Shafaq News/ Iraq's Federal Supreme Court on Tuesday postponed its decision on a lawsuit seeking to overturn the parliament speaker election, delaying a resolution until early April.

The court cited the need for further scrutiny of the lawsuit, according to a judicial source who spoke to Shafaq News Agency.

The lawsuit, filed by two legislators, alleges irregularities in the January parliamentary session that elected Shaalan al-Karim as speaker. The lawmakers claim that bribery influenced the voting process, but the winning candidate has denied the accusations.

In mid-November, Iraq's Supreme Court terminated the tenure of Parliament's Sunni speaker, Mohamed al-Halboosi, following a legislator's complaint concerning the "falsification" of a document.

Iraq's political makeup, in this multi-ethnic and multi-sectarian country, is governed by a power-sharing system among various communities: the largely ceremonial presidential post traditionally goes to a Kurd, the prime minister's position to a Shiite, and the Sunni community is represented by the speaker of parliament.

Iraq's parliament has failed to elect a new Speaker and break a political deadlock that has gripped the country for months.

On January 15, lawmakers held a session to pick a replacement for former Speaker Mohammad al-Halboosi, whose term was ended by the Federal Supreme Court after a fallout with a fellow lawmaker, but disagreements prevented them from reaching the required thresholds.

Al-Kareem was not able to secure the required majority even though he mustered the backing of 152 fellow lawmakers. His closest competitor, al-Issawi, managed to secure 97 of 232 available votes during this poll.

Mahmoud al-Mashhadani, Talal al-Zawba'i, and Amer Abdul-Jabbar received a combined total of 63 votes.

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