Awaiting second round

Legal dispute halts Iraqi Parliament Speaker election procedures

BAGHDAD, 13 January, Members of the Iraqi Parliament have reported a legal controversy surrounding the election procedures for a new parliamentary speaker. The first round concluded without any candidate achieving an absolute majority of the parliamentary members’ votes.

In the first round, “Taqaddum” candidate Shalan al-Karim received 152 votes, followed by Salem al-Essawi with 97 votes, Mahmoud al-Mashhadani with 48 votes, Amer Abdul-Jabbar with 6 votes, and Talal al-Zobaie with one vote.

Following the first round, the Parliament announced a half-hour delay in resuming the vote. However, more than two hours passed without the session resuming.

MP Moeen al-Kazemi, attending the voting session, stated that the second round of voting should consider the candidate with the highest votes as the winner of the Speaker post, without the need for an absolute majority of the total parliamentary members. However, Kazemi’s view is met with differing opinions.

Documents reviewed by 964media reveal a query from the current Parliament Speaker, Mohsen al-Mandlawi, to the Federal Court regarding the nature of the parliamentary speaker election procedures when candidates fail to achieve the half +1 of the total parliamentary members.

Legal experts say that the Federal Court’s response equates the rounds, not differentiating between the criteria of the first or second rounds. This means that candidates with the fewest votes can still compete in the second round or subsequent ones and will not automatically be disqualified in favor of the first and second highest vote-getters.

According to interpretations, candidates who were accepted in the nomination session must compete until one of them achieves an absolute majority.

Political sources indicated that meetings are being held in the office of Parliament Speaker Mohsen al-Mandlawi to resolve the controversy.