After months of political deadlock

Taqadoum Alliance nominates Mahmoud Al-Mashhadani for parliament speaker

BAGHDAD – The Sunni Taqadoum Alliance has put forward Mahmoud Al-Mashhadani as its nominee for the position of Iraqi Parliament speaker, following the merger of Al-Mashhadani’s Al-Sadara Bloc with Taqadoum on Monday.

According to a statement, this decision comes after extensive discussions and agreements among parliamentary blocs, particularly addressing the Sunni community’s six-month absence from a senior state office.

Taqadoum emphasized the crucial role of the Parliament in activating the democratic system, maintaining political balance, and preserving national unity. It urged other political blocs to support Al-Mashhadani’s nomination to resolve the ongoing political deadlock over the speaker’s office.

Since November, Iraq’s Parliament has been without a speaker, following the removal of Taqadoum’s Mohammed al-Halbousi by the Federal Supreme Court on charges of document forgery. Since then, Mohsen al-Mandalawi, a Shia, has served as the acting speaker.

As per Iraq’s unofficial ethno-sectarian balance of power system, the speaker position traditionally belongs to the Sunni Arab community. Al-Mashhadani previously served as parliament speaker from 2006 to 2008. A Sunni politician, he is viewed as having close ties to influential Shia circles, likely gaining their support for the position.

Despite a January session to vote on a new speaker, Taqadoum’s Sha’aln Al-Kerayim failed to secure sufficient votes. Since then, major Sunni blocs have been in a deadlock over the speakership.

The merger of Al-Sadara with Taqadoum is expected to break this deadlock and pave the way for a new speaker to be elected. The Parliament is scheduled to convene on 18 May for this purpose.