Bafel Jalal Talabani and Sadr discuss political situation in Iraq in phone call

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — Bafel Jalal Talabani and Iraq’s Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr spoke by telephone on Monday, according to Talabani’s office.

Talabani received a phone call from Sadr to discuss the political situation in Iraq, his office said in a statement.

The two sides discussed the formation of a new Iraqi government, solutions to issues and mechanisms to end the “political stalemate”, the statement read.

They agreed to continue talks in an effort to end the current situation which Iraq is facing, the statement said.

The phone call came after the Iraqi parliament failed on Saturday to elect a new president due to a lack quorum.

Only 202 members of parliament out of 329 were present, which is less than the necessary two-thirds quorum needed to choose a new president for the mostly ceremonial post, while 126 lawmakers boycotted the session.

The vote on the president was postponed to Wednesday.

The delay prolongs a bitter deadlock in Iraqi politics months after an October general election from which Sadr emerged the biggest winner, with his Shia, pro-Iran rivals receiving a hammering at the polls.

Under a power-sharing system designed to avoid sectarian conflict, Iraq’s president is a Kurd, its prime minister a Shia and its parliament speaker a Sunni.

Sadr has vowed to push through what he calls a “national majority” government, has formed a coalition with the Sunni Taqaddum party led by Parliament Speaker Mohammed al-Halbousi and the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) in an attempt to go ahead with his plans.

Other Shia parties within the Coordination Framework want to form a consensus government, which Sadr opposes.

The disagreements between Iraqi and Kurdish Kurdish parties have led to a political stalemate, which senior officials call for an end to it.

On Monday, Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi and Halbousi called for an end to the political stalemate in the country.

Iraqi President Barham Salih, who is running for a second term in office, also urged the political parties on Saturday to participate in “serious and effective dialogue to get out of the current crisis without delay”.

“The continuation of the political stalemate amid the serious challenges facing the country is unacceptable,” he said.

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