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Parliament to allow presidential candidates registration next week, source says

Category: Iraq News

Date: 2022-03-02T12:50:38+0000
Parliament to allow presidential candidates registration next week, source says

Shafaq News/ The Iraqi legislative body is expected to reopen candidature for the republic's presidency next week, a source revealed on Wednesday.

The source who preferred to remain anonymous told Shafaq News Agency that the parliament will call on an ordinary session next Monday.

"The parliament will consider holding a vote on reopening the candidature for the presidency of the republic in accordance with the federal court's ruling," the source said, "the lawmakers might pass the parliamentary committees during the same session."

Iraq's Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday that the parliament speaker's decision to reopen nominations for presidential candidates is unconstitutional.

"There is no constitutional or legal text giving the presidency of the Council of Representatives (parliament speaker) the authority to reopen the door for candidacy for the country's president post," the court said in a statement.

On Oct. 10, 2021, Iraq held the parliamentary election, where Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr's Sadrist Movement emerged as the biggest winner with 73 out of the 329 seats.

On Jan. 9, the Iraqi parliament held its first session, in which the lawmakers re-elected Mohammed al-Halbousi as the speaker. Under the Iraqi constitution, a new president should be elected from the candidates by a two-thirds majority of the parliament after the speaker is chosen.

But on Feb. 7, the Iraqi parliament failed to elect a new president as only 58 lawmakers attended the session, well below the quorum of two-thirds of the 329-seat chamber. One day later, the parliamentary speaker announced reopening the registration window for presidential candidates.

The Supreme Court noted that the reopening decision might be valid if made through the legislative body instead of the speaker.

The parliament announced on Feb. 22 the names of 33 presidential candidates, including incumbent President Barham Salih, running for the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, Kurdistan Interior Minister Rebar Ahmed Khalid, running for the Kurdistan Democratic Party, and Rizgar Mohammed Amin, the former chief judge of the Iraqi Special Tribunal that organized the trial of former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.

Under Iraq's power-sharing system, the president should be an ethnic Kurd, the prime minister a Shia, and the parliament speaker a Sunni. Once elected, the new president will ask the largest parliamentary bloc to name a prime minister-designate to form a government within 30 days.

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