Iraq’s Parliament To Elect New President Thursday
The Baghdad Convention Center, where Iraq's parliament, the Council of Representatives, meets, Dec. 30, 2008. (Creative Commons)

Iraq’s Parliament To Elect New President Thursday

Mohammed al-Halbousi, the speaker of the Iraqi parliament, the Council of Representatives, announced in a press conference on Tuesday that the parliament would hold a special session on Thursday to elect the country’s next president. A power-sharing agreement reached after the US ousted the late dictator Saddam Hussein in 2003 reserves the presidency for a member of Iraq’s Kurdish community, while the speaker of the parliament and prime minister are Arabs – the former is a Sunni Muslim and the latter a Shiite Muslim. The two main Kurdish parties, the Kurdistan Democratic Party and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, continue to disagree about who should take the role of president. The country has been in a political deadlock since parliamentary elections were held more than a year ago, on October 10, 2021. Political tensions escalated over the past few months between the Sadrish Movement of cleric Moqtada al-Sadr and the Shiite parliamentary parties in the umbrella group of Shiite parliamentary parties known as the Coordination Framework (CF). Sadr ordered his followers, who comprised the largest faction in parliament, to resign in June after the CF reject his demand to dissolve parliament and hold early elections. A two-thirds majority of the 329-seat parliament is needed to form a new government.

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