Iraq parliament held its first session in the new term; a session that proved chaotic and promised more controversies in the future.
Few months after a disputed election, Iraqi fresh legislative council re-elected its speaker for another term. This marks the first move toward establishing a new administration, while a large group of people still challenge the election results.
The current parliament’s inauguration, nevertheless, proved chaotic two days ago. The eldest member of the new parliament, Mahmoud al-Mashhadani, was hospitalized following getting unwell after a series of developments.
The tumultuous session kicks off what is expected to be a long period of political debate among competing factions. The challenge over who takes the leadership offices will be time-consuming and controversial.
Shiite leader Moqtada al-Sadr holds the dominant position in establishing a new administration as the head of a large group. He will, however, have to deal with opposing Shiite organizations that persist refuting the outcome of election and seek a role in the establishment.
The biggest group in parliament has the ability to nominate the new PM based on the country’s law. However, when the session began two days ago, the Shiite Coordination Framework provided a list of MPs’ names, claiming that they now possess the largest parliamentary fraction with 88 seats. This means that al-Sadr will lose the upper hand in forming the government. Shiite Coordination Framework is an association of Shiite groupings that challenge and reject the election results.
The assembly momentarily spiraled out of control, with MPs crowding towards al-Mashhadani, the meeting’s leader. Security personnel pulled the 73-year-old lawmaker out of the chamber and into an ambulance, which brought him to the hospital.
Al-Mashhadani took visits by a number of the leaders of parliamentary and paramilitary factions. His physical condition was good according to later reports.
Iraq Parliament; Illegal Child of a Disputed Election
Iraq parliament meeting continued after the disturbance, while the problem of the majority found no quick resolution. Later, 200 MPs voted to re-elect Mohamed al-Halbousi as speaker, with 14 voting for al-Mashhadani.
Al-Halbousi, is a former governor of Anbar province. He has support from al-Sadr factions, Kurd groups, and Sunni alliance. His Kurdish party lost the battle to Sadr alliance in the election results while securing a considerable number of seats.
Iraqi parliament usually nominated a Sunni speaker, while the PM is chosen among the Shiite figure. The Kurdish factions have also their share of power with a president. From the onset of the first meeting, parliament has a 0n-month chance to pick the president. The president will be in charge of calling the parliament’s biggest bloc to establish a new administration through designating the Prime Minister.
That seems to be a tough process for the current Iraq in which divisions are predominant. There is no definite majority in the parliament and any government under such a condition will be fragile.
The division between al-Sadr and the major Iraqi Shiite population further debilitated Sadr’s chances of achievement in forming the government. With 73 seats, out of the total 329, the group is in need of Nouri al-Maliki, Fatah alliance, and other factions with Shiite support.
Members of parliament from Sadr’s wore white ribbons symbolizing funeral shrouds as they entered the legislative chamber in Baghdad. Elsewhere, other independent MPs rode tuk-tuks from Tahrir Square to the parliament building. This signaled the insistence on the requirements of the 2019 massive protests in Iraq.
Clear signs of division in the new Iraq parliament are not promising as harder days expect the people. The Chaos may lead the country into a Lebanon-like condition.