ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Iraqi lawmakers on Sunday elected a second deputy parliamentary speaker, traditionally reserved for a Kurdish candidate, a day after an inconclusive vote for the position.
In the Saturday iteration of the first parliamentary session, Kurdish lawmakers from the Kurdistan Democratic Party (PDK), National Axis Alliance (NAA), Kurdistan Islamic Group (Komal), Kurdistan Islamic Union (KIU) nominated their candidates to contend for the position of second deputy parliamentary speaker. Shortly before the vote, NAA’s Alla Talabani rescinded her candidacy.
The Iraqi parliament on Saturday, in a landslide vote, elected Sunni lawmaker, Mohammed al-Halbousi, as parliament speaker. His traditionally Shia first deputy post was given to the Sairoon list’s Hassan al-Kaabi.
When the time came to elect a second deputy, however, the KDP candidate, Bashir Hajji Haddad, failed to collect the required 166 votes to secure the traditionally Kurdish-held spot.
During the tally, and among the attending MPs, “152 voted for the KDP candidate, Bashir Hajji Haddad, 45 for Komal’s Ahmed Hajji Rashid, and 21 lawmakers backed the KIU’s Muthanna Amin,” a source from the Saturday meeting told Kurdistan 24.
On Sunday, the session resumed and elected KDP candidate, Bashir Hajji Haddad, after a tight race between Haddad and Rashid ensued following Amin’s withdrawal.
Now that the speakers have been chosen, the parliament will work toward electing the president of the country, although the Kurds are yet to name a candidate. The new president will order the largest parliamentary bloc to present their candidate for prime minister, who will then be expected to form his cabinet, a process that could take months.
Editing by Nadia Riva