190 Iraqi MPs direct formal request to Presidency of parliament for resumptions of sessions

A handout picture released by Iraq’s Prime Minister’s Media Office on January 9, 2022 shows Iraqi lawmakers attending the inaugural session of the parliament in Baghdad, three months after legislative elections. (AFP photo)

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — 190 Iraqi MPs have directed a formal request to the Presidency of the Iraqi parliament, demanding the resumptions of sessions months after being paralyzed, a lawmaker on Wednesday said.   

Lawmaker to the Shiite coordination framework in the Iraqi council of representatives Saeer al-Mukhaif said that the Iraqi parliament speaker Mohammed al-Halbousi has received a formal request, demanding the resumption of sessions straight after the Arba’een holy Shiite observance.

“The request has been made by 190 MPs from the different factions,” the lawmaker said.

“The presidency of the council is committed to set a date for resumptions of the sessions in accordance to the parliament bylaw,” he said, adding, “There is no justification to endure the paralyzing of the chamber.”

The speaker of parliament suspended the sessions in July late after the supporters of Iraqi powerful Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr stormed the legislative chamber in protest to vote for a new cabinet.

Sardr’s party, the Sadrist movement, emerged as the largest parliamentary bloc following an election in October 2021, claiming 73 seats in the chamber.

In mid-June he withdrew from the talks on the government formation and ordered his lawmakers to vacate the Iraqi parliament, 73 MPs resigned.

The decision was followed by his failure to form a majoritarian with his Kurdish Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and Sunnis bloc’s allies but out of his Shiite rival parties, failing to secure enough quorum.

Sadr’s rival parties, mainly the Shiite coordination framework decided to vote for the new cabinet which outraged Sadr’s supporters and himself, therefore, he urged his supporters to obstruct the legislative chamber to do so.

Since then, the Iraqi parliament has been paralyzed, and a sit-in has been staged, which lasted for more than a month but lifted when a violent armed clash erupted between Sadr’s supporters and Iran-aligned groups in the Iraqi capital in late August.

Iraq’s political impasse now heading to its eleventh month, the longest in the country since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion reset the political order after the October elections.

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