The possibility of resorting to dissolving parliament and going to new early elections

The political stalemate in Iraq will be prolonged

  • Disagreements between members of the Iraqi parliament prevent an agreement on a president.

    Father

  • Muqtada al-Sadr rejects the idea of ​​"quotas".

    archival

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Between a majority government and a consensus government, Iraq faces a political complex that resulted in three failed attempts to elect a president, the last of which was a parliamentary session on Wednesday, and a continuation of the constitutional breach, six months after the early parliamentary elections, with no solution in sight.

The Iraqi parliament adjourned, the day before yesterday, "until further notice", its session, in which it was scheduled to elect a President of the Republic.

- Why has Parliament not yet elected a President of the Republic?

The quorum was broken due to the continuing political disagreements.

The origin of these differences goes back to the announcement of the results of the early elections last October.

At that time, the Sadrist movement, led by the Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, won the largest number of seats.

In Iraq, it is customary to share power on the principle of consensus, and for Shiite forces collectively to form the largest bloc in parliament that must choose a prime minister, but al-Sadr wants to break from that tradition.

Since then, he has reiterated his insistence on forming a majority government and that he is the owner of the largest bloc in a tripartite alliance called "Save the Homeland", with the Kurdistan Democratic Party, and a bloc of Sunni parties, the most prominent of which is a party led by Parliament Speaker Muhammad al-Halbousi, with about 155 deputies.

As for the coordinating framework, an influential Shiite alliance that includes the State of Law bloc led by former Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, and the Fatah bloc, which includes pro-Iranian factions, it desires a consensual government among all Shiite forces, as usual.

Until his demand is achieved, his more than 130 deputies are boycotting the presidential election sessions, depriving Wednesday's session of the two-thirds quorum and disrupting the political track.

What are the prospects for resolving these disputes?

The third parliament session, on Wednesday, and the political statements that followed, with Muqtada al-Sadr's affirmation of his unwillingness to "consensus", proved that the solution is still a long way off.

Ihsan al-Shammari, a professor of political science at the University of Baghdad, explains to AFP that “the failure to set a date (for the next session to elect the president) by the parliament presidency is an indication that there are no prospects for solutions in what is related to the session of choosing a president of the republic, and there is no rapprochement between the coalition.” The trio (save a homeland) and the Shiite coordination framework.”

And in a country where politics is actually based on the sharing of shares and the influence of weapons, and where differences are resolved behind the scenes rather than in the corridors of parliament, the main parties’ clinging to their positions means that the crisis will continue for many months as well.

In an interview with the media, Representative Jwan Abdullah Omar of the Kurdistan Democratic Party said that "negotiations are continuing...but there are multiple differences between the political forces regarding the passing of the President of the Republic."

The Iraqi political analyst, Hamza Haddad, explains that “the political class is able to negotiate for several months, as the experiences of forming previous governments have proven to us, unless there is an external threat, such as ISIS in 2014, to push political leaders to agree among themselves. Faster".

He added, "They will continue as long as possible to get what they want, even if that means exceeding constitutional deadlines, as is the case with the election of a president since February of this year."

- What about the constitution?

The constitution stipulates that a president must be elected within 30 days of parliament holding its first session, that is, in this case on January 9th.

The Iraqi legal expert, Ahmed Al-Sufi, explained to "AFP" that as soon as "the date of February 9th was passed, we were faced with a constitutional violation."

He believes that as long as Parliament is still unable to reach consensus, this means that the constitutional violation continues.

In this case, I can only hope for a political consensus.

The Federal Court, the highest judicial authority in the country in this case, can only express one opinion, according to Al-Sufi, which is that “Parliament violated the constitution by not electing the President of the Republic within 30 days from the date of the first session, and the House of Representatives must elect within a short period a president. of the Republic.”

He added, "The Federal Court does not have any other authority" other than "identifying the constitutional violation."

Legally, Parliament only has until April 6 to elect a president, following a decision of the Federal Court, the country's highest judicial authority.

If this date is exceeded, there is nothing in the constitution that specifies how to deal with the issue, so the possibilities remain open if the concerned parties do not reach an agreement.

The matter, then, is not in the hands of the law, but rather in the hands of the political class.

In the event that the political stalemate continues, it may resort to dissolving parliament and holding new early elections.

This requires that “a third of the members of Parliament present his dissolution before the House of Representatives, then the House will vote itself by half + one, and the Parliament will dissolve itself.”

However, the Iraqi political analyst, Hamza Haddad, believes that "there is no political desire among the parties to do this, and as electoral participation in the past two electoral elections has shown, there is no great desire among Iraqis to go and vote as well."

• The constitution stipulates that a president must be elected within 30 days of parliament holding its first session, ie in this case on January 9th.

• It is customary to share power on the principle of consensus, and for the Shiite forces together to form the largest bloc in Parliament, which must choose a prime minister, but Al-Sadr wants to break from that tradition.

• The third parliament session, on Wednesday, and the political statements that followed, with Muqtada al-Sadr's affirmation of his unwillingness to "consensus", proved that the solution is still a long way off.

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