Iraqi parliament suspended 'until further notice'

Iraqi parliament suspended 'until further notice'
In a new blow to the deepening political crisis, the embattled speaker of the Iraqi parliament has declared a suspension of sessions.
2 min read
19 April, 2016
Speaker Juburi (centre) remains fighting for his political life [AFP]

Parliament sessions attempting to rectify a deepening political crisis in Iraq will be suspended "until further notice", embattled speaker Salim al-Juburi announced on Tuesday

"I announce the suspension of sessions... of the Iraqi parliament until further notice," Juburi said in a statement just a week after lawmakers sought to sack him.

But sessions expected to be held on Thursday have been announced by Adnan al-Janabi - an MP elected last Thursday to replace Juburi as speaker.

A major row over the cabinet line-up has caused chaos in the legislature, following postponements earlier this week.

In response to the move, Juburi issued a statement saying that the session, which he did not attend, was unconstitutional and that the required quorum of 165 members was not reached.

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The session held "in the absence of the presidency of parliament is unconstitutional and lacked the necessary quorum", the statement said.

Thursday's session was set to see the current cabinet of party-affiliated ministers replaced by a technocratic government, despite significant resistance from powerful political parties who fear that the new appointments could weaken their political patronage networks, limiting their cashflow and influence.

Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi had presented his list of ministerial nominees, but some of his initial nominations withdrew their names under pressure from political blocs as parties pushed for their own candidates.

Fistfights broke out in parliament this week as the country's political crisis deepened.

Iraq is also facing a financial crisis, which many blame on the corruption of Iraqi politicians.