Iraq’s parliament speaker supports holding early elections: Statement

In a massive Friday prayer gathering held in Baghdad’s Grand Festivities Square, thousands of Sadr supporters reiterated their call for early elections. 
author_image Kurdistan 24
Supporters of Shiite cleric Moqtada Sadr gather at the Iraqi capital Baghdad's high-security Green Zone as they continue their ongoing protest against a nomination for prime minister by a rival Shiite faction, August 5, 2022. (Photo: Ahmad
Supporters of Shiite cleric Moqtada Sadr gather at the Iraqi capital Baghdad's high-security Green Zone as they continue their ongoing protest against a nomination for prime minister by a rival Shiite faction, August 5, 2022. (Photo: Ahmad

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The speaker of Iraq’s parliament announced his support for holding early elections on Friday. 

“We support going forward with parliamentary and local elections based on an agreed-upon time… [and] in line with the constitution,” Mohamed Al-Halboosi wrote in a statement on Friday. 

In his speech on Wednesday, the influential Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr called for snap elections to end the months-long political deadlock in Iraq. Since then, his supporters, who have been occupying the parliament building, have repeatedly demanded another round of elections. 

In a massive Friday prayer gathering held in Baghdad’s Grand Festivities Square, thousands of Sadr supporters reiterated their call for early elections. 

Iraqis in October 2021 went to the polls to elect a new government. However, nearly ten months later, the feuding political parties still haven’t been able to form a new government. 

Sadr met with the United Nations special envoy to Iraq, Jennine Hennis-Plaschart, in Najaf, where they discussed ending the political crisis. 

Hennis-Plaschart later described their meeting as “good”.

According to the constitution, Iraq’s parliament can be dissolved through an absolute majority vote of its members. It can also be dissolved upon the request of one-third of the members of parliament and the prime minister so long as the sitting president consents. 

The president is then obligated to call for holding another election within a period not exceeding two months. Until then, the government will assume its caretaker role, the document stipulates. 

Sadr’s rivals in the Shiite Coordination Framework, who presently have the majority of parliament’s seats, have not yet given a concrete response to the Sadrist demand. Instead, its leaders point to legal obstacles in the way of holding new elections.