New Iraqi Parliament Holds First Session
- On October 10, 2021, Iraq held its fifth parliamentary elections since 2003.
- The parliamentary elections decide the 329 members of the Council of Representatives. The members then elect the Iraqi president and confirm the Iraqi prime minister.
- Initially meant to take place in 2022, these elections were brought forward to satisfy the protesters in 2019 who took over the streets to protest rampant corruption and poor services. Many Iraqis also held the opinion that the elite had abused power to acquire monetary gains.
New Parliament Holds First Session:
- On January 9, 2022, Iraq’s parliament held its first session since October’s elections.
- The session was dominated by disputes as to which Shia political bloc held the parliamentary majority.
- Cleric Muqtada al-Sadr’s party won October’s elections, earning 73 of parliament's 329 seats.
- However, the Shia Coordination Framework coalition, consisting of minority parties such as the Iraian-backed Fatah alliance and Former Prime Minister Al-Maliki’s State of Law bloc, argues that it has attained 88 parliamentary seats and thus holds a majority.
- As the oldest member, Mahmoud Al-Mashahadani was presiding over parliament until the election of a permanent speaker.
- However, mid-session he was hospitalized due to illness and thus could no longer serve in this role.
- Ultimately, parliament voted to re-elect Mohammed Al-Halbousi as Iraq’s official speaker.
- Halbousi was originally elected as parliamentary speaker in 2018. Prior to this role, he served as governor of the Anbar province in Western Iraq.
- In the next 30 days, parliament will elect Iraq’s president, and from there the largest political bloc will form a government. However, disputes regarding which parliamentary bloc maintains majority may complicate future government formation.