Al-Halbousi responds to removal from Parliament

Iraq’s Parliament reconvenes one day after Al-Halbousi’s ouster, fmr Speaker hold press conference

BAGHDAD, November 15 — Iraq’s Parliament convened for an extraordinary session on Wednesday, its first since former Speaker Mohammed Al-Halbousi was removed from his position by a Federal Court the previous day. The session was presided over First Deputy Speaker Mohsen Al-Mandlawi and attended by 172 lawmakers.

Wednesday’s session had been delayed by half an hour due to a lack of quorum. Lawmakers completed a first reading of an amendment to the Independent High Electoral Commission Law, as well as voted on confirming General Prosecutor Najm Abdullah Ahmed and head of the Judicial Supervision Authority, Laith Jabr Hamza.

The Federal Supreme Court in Baghdad confirmed on Tuesday that it ruled to terminate Al-Halbousi and Deputy Laith Al-Dulaimi. Al-Halbousi held a press conference on Wednesday, and charged that the Federal Court had overstepped its mandate by removing him from his position.

“The Federal Court is not authorised to review the validity of the members of the Parliament. No deputy can file a complaint with the Federal Court without submitting the request to the Parliament first,” he said. “The Federal Court erred even in the decision on the invalidity of Laith al-Dilaimi’s membership.”

“The Federal Court amended the constitution without consulting the people. After closing the pleading session, it violated the lawsuit by accepting another claim and adding it. How can we trust such a court,” he asked.