Iraq plunges into political crisis after a quarter of MPs resign

We reluctantly accepted the resignation demands of our brothers and sisters, representatives of the Sadrist blocParliament Speaker Mohammed al-halboussi said on Twitter after receiving the letters of resignation from the 73 elected MPs Moqtada Sadr.

The Shiite leader, who is used to political symbols, asked his deputies to do so himself on Thursday prepare her resignation.

Parliament’s services were not available in the evening to comment on the constitutional implications of this decision.

Yes, according to the Iraqi political scientist Hamseh Hadad, Parliament still has to agree these layoffs with an absolute majority so that they become effective. However, the parliamentary recess began on Thursday and elected officials will not be able to find the chamber until August.

A little more political theater from the Sadrist movement and Halboussi. »

A quote from Hamseh Hadadpolitical scientist

Beyond the symbolic, this shock underscores the total political impasse Iraq finds itself in with a taste of déjà vu, negotiations between the parties to form a government and appoint a prime minister are generally playing out as the extensions this time.

For eight months and the early parliamentary elections of October 2021, from which the Sadrist movement emerged as the big winner, the government of the prime minister Mustafa Kazimi is content to expedite current affairs.

Mr. Kazimi, who has been in power since 2020 and does not belong to any political party, has no free hand to try to alleviate the social crisis that this oil country’s 41 million inhabitants are going through.

Despite oil, the economy is faltering

The country suffers from several ills: nepotism, corruption (Iraq has a bad 157e of 180 countries in the Transparency International ranking) and in particular energy issues.

Despite being one of the most hydrocarbon-rich countries, Iraq cannot provide electricity to its citizens on a regular basis, causing load dumps and fueling popular anger, especially early this summer when temperatures approach 50 degrees.

It was these demands that drove thousands of Iraqis onto the streets during an unprecedented revolt in the fall of 2019.

In parliament are the two poles of political Shiism, namely the Moqtada Sadr and the pro-Iranian Coordination Framework continue to call for a majority and the right to appoint the prime minister.

Moqtada Sadr

Photo: Reuters/Alaa Al-Marjani

Moqtada Sadr, who is allied with Sunni and Kurdish forces, intends to break with the tradition that wants all Shia forces to be involved in one consensus government. The Shia cleric wants a majority government which would drive his opponents out of the coordination framework and into opposition.

To this day he has not been able to do this and recently claimed in protest that his deputies were sitting in contrastleaving the coordination framework to form a government.

country seeks president

the majority government the Moqtada Sadr Calls for his wishes would revolve around his current party, the Sunni Speaker of Parliament, Mohammed al Halboussi, and the Kurdistan Democratic Party (PDK). These three formations bring together 155 deputies out of 329 and therefore do not have a majority in the hemicycle.

The coordination framework notably includes the Alliance for Conquest, a political showcase for former pro-Iranian paramilitaries in the Hashd al-Shaabi. It brings together 83 elected officials.

Since the beginning of the year, due to the lack of a clear majority and a lack of consensus, Parliament has failed three times to organize the election of the President of the Republic, the first stage before the appointment of the Prime Minister and the formation of a government.

All of the constitutional deadlines have been exceeded.

One of the ways mentioned to break the impasse would be to dissolve parliament and organize new general elections, but for that the MPs would have to dissolve the assembly themselves.

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