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The new Iraqi parliament will meet on Sunday, after an invitation from the President of the Republic, Barham Salih, to deputies to hold their first session, during which they will be sworn in before the President of the Supreme Judicial Council, and then choose, according to a direct secret ballot, the new speaker of parliament and two vice-presidents.

This is all supposed to take place in the “first session” of Parliament, according to the Iraqi constitution, but legal scholars and new MPs expect Parliament to use a tactic used to circumvent this paragraph, which requires not adjourn or end the first session for days, to allow more time for discussions on the selection of the chair.

The new MP, Sajjad Salem, warned the popular opposition bloc against such a tactic.

Salem said in a series of tweets on Twitter: “Some political blocs are trying, in the event of a disagreement over the three presidencies, to devise a new method of constitutional violation by breaking the quorum for the session and allowing more time for agreements whose the essence is quotas, corruption and bigotry, and follow the old approach in the alliance between the traditional parties. “

Salem adds that the Federal Court ruled that the first open session was unconstitutional and that the length of the session should not exceed 15 days, during which a president and two deputies are elected.

Quorum at the first session

Iraqi legal affairs expert Essam Al-Fadl said that “the Federal Court was clear because it ruled that the first session cannot be extended for more than 14 days because the extension lacks constitutional legitimacy and disrupts state institutions “.

Al-Fadl added to Al-Hurra’s website: “It is unclear how the tribunal will deal with the issue of breaking the continuous quorum for the first session, as the law does not require parliamentarians to be present or reach a quorum, and all there is are administrative penalties that are not dissuasive, and it is difficult for the age officer who will chair the session.

President Senn, the oldest member of the Iraqi parliament, presides over the first session of the council, during which the president and his two deputies are elected.

The Iraqi constitution requires that the president of the council and his two deputies be elected by an absolute majority of the members of the council, which means, according to al-Fadl, a two-thirds majority.

The Federal Court is the highest judicial body in Iraq

In the event that this majority cannot be reached during the first vote, the vote is repeated, but this time the candidates win by a simple majority, i.e. half of the members of the Council + 1.

The phrase “half of the parliament” offers possibilities for the controversy to be repeated in every session, according to al-Fadl, who says it “means half the number of members of the Iraqi parliament, while others say it means half of the people present in the parliament chamber during a quorum sitting.

The continued breaking of the quorum, al-Fadl said, may disrupt the swearing in of parliamentarians to grant them parliamentary immunity and allow them to begin performing their duties, and Iraq could enter a period of constitutional vacuum.

‘Simple’ disputes

Sunday’s session will be chaired by the oldest member of parliament, Mahmoud al-Mashhadani, who led parliament in 2006 for a parliamentary session, and is also a member of the Iraqi constitution drafting committee after 2003, and has about 74 years old.

Iraqi political analyst Nour Al-Maamouri asserts that “legal disputes can be resolved, complicated though they are, on the basis of the Federal Court, but political differences are the real danger at this time.”

Al-Maamouri added to the Al-Hurra website that “attempting to use various legal interpretations to choose a speaker of parliament whose legitimacy is questionable, could expose the country to serious political tension.”

Al-Maamouri refers to an idea which he said is circulating among the opposition, “exploiting the presence of a parliamentary quorum during the swearing-in session, and considering the availability of a sufficient quorum to initiate the procedures of appointment of the Speaker of Parliament, even though a number of deputies left the room to violate the quorum.

Al-Sadr alliance won first place in Iraqi elections with more than 70 seats in parliament

Al-Sadr alliance won first place in Iraqi elections with more than 70 seats in parliament

Al-Maamouri says that “the opposition, the Sadrists and their allies can form a quorum themselves and choose whomever they want, but this move can be dangerous.”

And Iraqis are watching with interest the progress of the parliamentary session to be held on Sunday, as the current parliament is the first of its kind to include the majority of the Sadrist bloc, and it is believed that it will appoint a prime minister, but it also includes a large number of blocs which have allied themselves in what is called the “coordination framework”.

In addition, this parliament is the first to include explicit opposition blocs, such as the alliance of the Emtada and New Generation blocs, which are represented by 18 deputies, and the Popular Bloc, with 6 deputies, and other blocs. who have not yet determined their position, can play an important role, according to Al-Maamouri in the “numbers game”. Within the board.

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