Iraq court rebuffs parliament by closing door to new presidential candidates

Iraq court rebuffs parliament by closing door to new presidential candidates
1 min read
01 March, 2022
Iraq's Federal Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled against parliament's decision to accept more nominations for the long-delayed presidency.
Political differences and a lack of quorum have derailed attempts to elect a new president [Getty- archive]

Iraq’s Federal Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday that parliament's decision to reopen nominations for the presidency is unconstitutional, as the country's months-old political deadlock continues.

The court's session reviewed the Iraqi parliament's decision to reopen registrations for presidential candidates after the legislator failed to meet the quorum - two-thirds of lawmakers - needed to choose a new president.

A consensus between rival factions is deemed crucial before any president is elected, in a country where political and sectarian divisions run deep.

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Under Iraq’s power-sharing system since 2005, the president - whose powers are limited - is from the Kurdish community, while the speaker is a Sunni Muslim, and the prime minister is a Shia Muslim.

Speaker Mohamed Al-Halbousi said Monday that the upcoming parliamentary session would be to elect a new president and new parliamentary committees.

This session has been barred after Tuesday's court decision.

The parliament had reopened the door for presidential candidate nominations on 8 February, after the first nomination was put forward on 9 January. A week ago, the parliament released a list of 33 presidential candidates.

A lack of consensus and ongoing bickering has derailed the agreement to select a new head of state.

Pro-Iran parties have also challenged last year's parliamentary elections which saw its bloc lose heavily.