Iraqi parliament fails to elect new speaker

The Iraqi parliament failed Sunday to elect a new speaker to replace the sacked speaker Mohammed al-Halbousi due to political wrangling among parliamentary political blocs.

Baghdad, Jan 14 : The Iraqi parliament failed Sunday to elect a new speaker to replace the sacked speaker Mohammed al-Halbousi due to political wrangling among parliamentary political blocs.

The parliament session began on Saturday afternoon and was chaired by Mohsen al-Mandalawi, the first deputy of the parliament speaker, with the attendance of 314 lawmakers out of the parliament’s 329 seats and continued until the early hours of Sunday, according to a statement issued by the parliament.

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During the session, al-Mandalawi announced that he had received nominations from five lawmakers for the speaker post. After a direct secret ballot, Shaalan al-Karim garnered 152 votes, followed by Salim al-Eisawi with 97 votes and former speaker Mahmoud al-Mashhadani with 48 votes.

According to Iraqi law, if a candidate for the speaker post fails to gain an absolute majority of parliament seats, which is 50 percent plus one, or 166 votes, another round of direct secret ballot is held for the competing candidates.

However, a source in the parliament, who requested anonymity, told Xinhua that the lawmakers failed to hold a second round following a dispute that continued into the late hours, which prompted al-Mandalawi to adjourn the session.

On Nov. 14, 2023, the Iraqi federal court ruled to terminate the tenure of Iraq’s Parliament Speaker Mohammed al-Halbousi due to legal violations.