ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Iraqi Parliament Speaker Mohammed al-Halbousi on Thursday warned elected lawmaker and former Prime Minister Ayad Allawi that he would face a vote of no confidence should he miss future parliamentary sessions.
Allawi, never one to frequent any but the most consequential parliament sessions, has been similarly warned in previous years.
The head of the al-Wataniya Coalition is among four elected MPs who have yet to be formally sworn in. Another is Nouri al-Maliki, head of the State of Law Coalition and also a former prime minister.
According to parliamentary procedures, the elected MPs are counted as such effective immediately when the Supreme Judicial Council ratifies the final results of the national parliamentary elections.
Parliament has the authority to dismiss MPs who are absent “without a legitimate pretext” beyond five consecutive sessions, according to article 11 of law 13 of 2018 of the legislative body.
Therefore, “we warn you [against] exceeding your absence limit” established by the law and “call upon you not to be absent in future sessions,” an official letter signed by Speaker Halbousi directed at Allawi stated.
“Otherwise, the necessary measures will be taken in accordance with the law,” the document added. Kurdistan 24 could not immediately confirm if the speaker had sent similar letters to the other absentees.
It is not known whether parliament would follow through which such a threat and actual dismiss one of its senior lawmakers due to their absence as the body has never done so in its previous terms.
Editing by John J. Catherine