Iraqi Parliamentary leadership election hinges on State of Law Coalition intervention

Iraqi Parliamentary leadership election hinges on State of Law Coalition intervention

Shafaq News/ "The election of the Speaker of Iraq’s Parliament requires intervention from the leaders of the State of Law Coalition," Rahman al-Jazaeri, a prominent figure within the coalition, stated on Sunday.

Al-Jazaeri told Shafaq News Agency that the political dynamics within the Sunni component indicate a need for the State of Law Coalition to step in to resolve the selection of the parliamentary speaker.

"The agreement on the candidate Mahmoud al-Mashhadani, who has now become the nominee of the Taqadum party, highlights this need," he said.

Al-Jazaeri explained that ongoing deliberations and announced agreements between the leaders of Taqadum and the State of Law Coalition suggest a political and ideological alignment. "This convergence indicates that the parties opposing a speaker from Taqadum are primarily from the Coordination Framework, which includes influential leaders working in harmony with the Prime Minister's office."

He further elaborated, "There are political blocs that are now aligning with the Prime Minister to support a new governmental program distinct from the Taqadum party's agenda, led by al-Halbousi. Consequently, the political landscape is shaping up with two main projects: one led by Prime Minister al-Sudani and his allies, and the other by Al-Maliki and his supporters, with the Sunni component and Parliament linking them."

On Saturday, the Taqadum Party announced that it will only accept the "Sunni Unity Initiative," launched by the head of the Azm Alliance, Khamis Al-Khanjar, if it recognizes the party's majority within the Sunni community.

Taqadum leader Mohammed al-Alawi told Shafaq News Agency, "Mohammed al-Halbousi's stance is clear. He supports any initiative that unites the Sunni house, provided it respects the rights of the Sunni majority (Taqadum). Any initiative aimed at sidelining the Sunni majority and depriving them of their rights is unwelcome."

Al-Alawi added that the objectives and intentions behind the Sunni Unity Initiative will become clear in the next two days through meetings to discuss the content of the initiative.

"Following these discussions, al-Halbousi will make an official decision on whether to reject or accept the initiative."

The Sunni political scene is currently marked by intense competition to succeed Mohammed al-Halbousi, who was ousted from Parliament by a court ruling. His party, Taqadum, insists on retaining the position, claiming its majority within the Sunni faction with 43 seats.

In this context, the Azm Alliance, one of the leading Sunni political coalitions, revealed a likely timeline for electing a new Speaker of Parliament following the Sunni Unity Initiative.

Azm MP Nihal al-Shammari told Shafaq News Agency, "The success of the Sunni Unity Initiative hinges on Taqadum's response. All other Sunni political parties support this initiative to resolve conflicts."

Al-Shammari noted, "There is ongoing communication with Taqadum leader Mohammed al-Halbousi. The coming hours will reveal the outcome of this initiative. If al-Halbousi responds positively, an extraordinary session to elect the new Speaker of Parliament will be convened by the end of this week."

In March, Iraq's Parliament failed to elect a new speaker, with no candidate securing the majority of votes in a tense session.

This attempt is the latest in a series of unsuccessful efforts to replace former Parliament Speaker al-Halbousi, who was ousted in November amid political infighting and party divisions that have stalled the process.

The March vote came closest to selecting a new leader for the 329-member Parliament, with 311 members present, but the leading candidate fell just seven votes short of the required majority.

The parliamentary media office announced that 137 MPs voted for Mahmoud al-Mashhadani, the eldest member, while 158 voted for Salem al-Issawi. However, these votes were insufficient, as a candidate needs at least 165 votes to secure the position of Speaker.

Many MPs abstained from participating in a second round of voting. Local media and activists circulated videos of altercations between MPs, with reports indicating that at least one MP was injured.

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