Sunni consensus should determine new Iraqi speaker of parliament, says KDP president

The top parliamentary post is the quota of the Sunni component, Barzani said.
KDP President Masoud Barzani is pictured during a townhall meeting in Duhok province, Aug. 19, 2023. (Photo: Barzani Headquarters)
KDP President Masoud Barzani is pictured during a townhall meeting in Duhok province, Aug. 19, 2023. (Photo: Barzani Headquarters)

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) President Masoud Barzani believes a new candidate for Iraqi speakership of parliament should be dictated by a Sunni consensus, according to a statement.

The Kurdish leader’s statement – shared by his office known as Barzani Headquarters – comes ahead of a parliamentary session set for Wednesday morning to elect a new speaker after Mohammed Al-Halboosi’s membership was terminated by a federal Supreme Court decision recently.

“Whoever candidate that is elected for the Iraqi speaker of parliament should be done so by the Sunni consensus or has the approval of the majority of Sunni representatives in the Council of Representatives,” Barzani believes, the press release said.

The top parliamentary post is the quota of the Sunni component, Barzani said.

Since the ouster of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein in 2003 by the US, Iraq’s new political system is based on what is known as Muhasasa, an ethno-sectarian quota system.

Iraqi president, a largely ceremonial role, is filled by a Kurd while the speaker of parliament is a Sunni Muslim and the Iraqi premiership is the quota of a Shiite Muslim, per the system.

Halboosi, heading a major Sunni party known as Taqadoom (Progressive), has publicly denounced the decision, challenging the legality of the verdict, which charged him with faking official documents.

The KDP on Thursday warned that the removal of the speaker would “deepen tensions” in the country. Prime Minister Masrour Barzani on Tuesday said the timing of the decision was “wrong”.