Iraqi cabinet to discuss 2024 budget

Iraqi cabinet to discuss 2024 budget

Shafaq News/ The Iraqi cabinet convened for an extraordinary session on Sunday, led by Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani, to deliberate on a draft for the 2024 federal budget.

In late April, Acting Speaker Mohsen al-Mandalawi and Prime Minister al-Sudani agreed on a swift finalization of the 2024 budget tables and their prompt submission to the parliament for debate and approval.

Yesterday, Iraq's lawmakers failed to elect a speaker as neither of the two main candidates secured a majority during a tense session of parliament.

It is the latest in a series of failed attempts to replace the former head of parliament who was dismissed in November, with political bickering and divisions between key Sunni parties derailing every effort so far.

The parliament's media office announced that 137 lawmakers chose Mahmoud al-Mashhadani, the oldest MP, while 158 picked Salem al-Issawi.

However, candidates require at least 165 votes to win.

The largely ceremonial role of president traditionally goes to a Kurd, that of prime minister to a Shiite, while the speaker of parliament is usually Sunni. But parliament is dominated by a coalition of pro-Iran Shiite parties, reflecting the country's largest religious group.

The new speaker will replace Mohammad al-Halboosi, the influential politician dismissed by Iraq's top court in November after a lawmaker accused him of forging a resignation letter.

Al-Halboosi had been the country's highest-ranking Sunni official since he first became a speaker in 2018.

The new speaker's stint will not last long with the general election due in 2025.

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