Sunni blocs coordinate to agree on candidate for parliament presidency

Sunni blocs coordinate to agree on candidate for parliament presidency

Shafaq News / On Thursday, MP Yahya Al-Ethawi confirmed that Sunni blocs are coordinating among themselves to agree on a candidate for the position of Parliament Speaker from among the four former contenders.

Competing for the position of Parliament Speaker are Shaalan Al-Karim, Salem Al-Issawi, Mahmoud Al-Mashhadani, and Talal Al-Zobaie.

Al-Ethawi told Shafaq News agency, "There is no specific date for the election of the Speaker of the Council of Representatives, and it is expected that one of the sessions next week will be scheduled for the election of the new Speaker."

He indicated that "there is coordination among the Sunni blocs, which will hold intensive meetings in the coming hours to agree on a specific candidate for the position of Parliament Speaker."

Al-Ethawi continued, "The nominated names for the position of Parliament Speaker remain the same and have not changed."

He affirmed that "the Sunni blocs (Sovereignty “Al-Siyada”, Taqaddum, and Al-Azm Alliance) will agree on a specific candidate before entering the session to elect the Speaker."

Since the Federal Supreme Court, the highest judicial authority in Iraq issued a decision on November 14, 2023, ending the membership of Parliament Speaker Mohammed al-Halbousi, and following the formal termination of al-Halbousi's membership by the Iraqi parliament, political blocs have been unable to agree on a replacement for him.

The Iraqi parliament held an extraordinary session on January 13 to choose the new Speaker.

The first round of voting ended with the victory of the "Taqaddom" party's Shaalan al-Karim with 152 votes out of 314. MP Salem Al-Issawi followed him with 97 votes, MP Mahmoud Al-Mashhadani with 48 votes, MP Amer Abduljabbar with six votes, and MP Talal Al-Zobaie with one vote.

However, due to verbal altercations inside the council hall, the session was adjourned without completing the election process, and no other session has been held since.

On the next day, January 14, MPs Yousif Al-Kilaby and Faleh Hassan Al-Khazali filed a lawsuit with the Federal Supreme Court, seeking a provisional injunction to halt the election session until the resolution of their lawsuit.

The lawsuit alleges bribery of some MPs to vote for specific candidates for the council's presidency.

The Federal Integrity Commission (CoI) announced on January 17 that it had initiated investigations into these allegations.

Furthermore, acting Parliament Speaker Mohsen al-Mandalawi formed a parliamentary investigation committee on January 23 to probe the allegations of bribery and financial inducements related to the election session.

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