Iraqi Legislators Fail to Agree

By Laith Hammoudi.

This article was originally published by the Institute for War and Peace Reporting,, and it is reproduced by Iraq Business News with permission. Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News

The Iraqi parliament broke up in disarray on July 1 after members failed to agree on a new speaker.

This was the first time legislators had gathered since being elected in April, and they were supposed to set about picking a new speaker as a first step towards building a new cabinet in the face of the continuing offensive by the the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and allied insurgent groups.

However, in under two hours the meeting was over and nothing had been decided.

“The session is adjourned and will be held on June 8, if agreement is reached,” acting speaker Mahdi al-Hafidh said, after members of the Kurdish and Sunni blocs walked out.

As the session began with 255 out of 325 members of parliament in attendance, Kurdish politician Najiba Najib called on Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, who was present in the chamber, to end what she called the “siege” the Kurdistan region was suffering.

Acting speaker Hafidh refused to countenance a debate on the issue, saying the meeting would be wholly given over to choosing a full-time speaker. He then ordered a half-hour break in proceedings to give parliamentary factions time for further discussions, but the recess ended with the departure of the Sunni and Kurdish blocs.

Hafidh began discussing what to do now with members of the United Iraqi Alliance, a mainly Shia bloc led by former prime minister Ibrahim al-Jafari.

Jafari said nothing could now be legally decided given that the walk-out meant there was no quorum.

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