Kurdish leader Masoud Barzani suggests new plan to end stalemate over Iraq's parliament speaker

Kurdish leader Masoud Barzani suggests new plan to end stalemate over Iraq's parliament speaker
Barzani, a trusted figure among Sunni leaders, proposed a compromise candidate to represent all Sunni factions.
2 min read
08 July, 2024
The Iraqi parliament has repeatedly failed to elect a new speaker after Iraq's top court ousted Mohammed al-Halbusi on 14 November. [Getty]

Masoud Barzani, the president of the ruling Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) has reportedly initiated a mediation to address the ongoing political crisis among Iraqi Sunni Arab factions over the election of a new parliament speaker, according to Iraqi parliament members and politicians speaking to Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, The New Arab's Arabic-language sister publication. 

 The Iraqi parliament repeatedly failed to elect a new speaker after Iraq's top court ousted Mohammed al-Halbusi on 14 November, after convicting him of forging official records related to an MP's resignation letter.

Barzani, a trusted figure among Sunni leaders, proposed a compromise candidate to represent all Sunni factions. If no consensus is reached, candidates Salem al-Issawi and Mahmoud al-Mashhadani will face a new legislative session, where the candidate with the fewest votes will withdraw in favour of the frontrunner.

Ammar al-Jumaili, a member of Halbusi's Taqaddum Party, emphasised the importance of respecting electoral entitlements, warning that any initiative disregarding his party's rights would fail. The party is staunchly firm on securing the parliamentary speaker's position, citing their electoral gains as justification.

Political analyst Mohammed Ali al-Hakim acknowledged Barzani's influential initiative but noted significant challenges, especially the intense competition among Sunni factions for the speaker's role, a position seen as key to political dominance in Sunni-majority areas.

Despite multiple attempts, Iraq's parliament has been unable to elect a new speaker, with recent sessions marred by physical altercations and disruptions. This ongoing deadlock highlights the complexities of Iraq's political landscape, where sectarian divisions and power struggles continue to impede governance.