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Iraqis still don’t have a president | Iraq, a country to rebuild

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Officially, the session was scheduled for noon. The voting meeting was turned into a simple deliberation session, in the presence of only 58 deputies out of 329, according to the media service of the Parliament.

Respecting the boycott announced by their respective leaderships, the elected representatives of the most important Iraqi parties observed the policy of the empty chair.

As a result, an official confirmed to AFP on condition of anonymity, there will be no vote to elect the president due to a lack of quorum two-thirds.

The postponement, which comes to weigh down the Iraqi political calendar, was expected in an Iraq accustomed to behind-the-scenes negotiations orchestrated by the major parties.

No vote in sight

No date has yet been set for a new election.

In order to give themselves more time to agree on a candidate, the current of the influential Shiite cleric Moqtada Sadr, the Sovereignty Coalition of the speaker of parliament Mohamed Al-Halboussi, as well as the Democratic Party of Kurdistan ( PDK), representing between them 155 deputies, had in turn announced their boycott since Saturday.

In the opposing political camp, the Coordination Framework, bringing together pro-Iran Shiite parties, had also announced its intention not to participate in the vote.

Since the October legislative elections won by Moqtada Sadr, the political spectrum remains more polarized than ever.

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A largely empty hemicycle

After four months of quarrels, the Iraqi barons have still not succeeded in forming a majority parliamentary coalition, which is crucial for subsequently designating a new prime minister.

On Monday, the few rare deputies present in a largely empty hemicycle finally deliberated on routine points.

Since the first multi-party elections in 2005, the largely ceremonial post of President of the Republic has been tacitly reserved for a Kurd.

This year some 25 candidates are in the running, but two seasoned politicians stood out: Hoshyar Zebari, a former minister from the KDP, and outgoing President Barham Saleh, of the PUK’s rival party, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan.

Hoshyar Zebari’s candidacy suspended

However, Mr. Zebari’s candidacy was temporarily suspended Sunday by justice, after a complaint presented by deputies based on old accusations of corruption.

Plaintiffs say Mr Zebari does not meet constitutional requirements, citing in particular his 2016 dismissal by parliament when he was finance minister on charges related to financial and administrative corruption.

The complaint also mentions at least two other legal cases involving him, in particular for abuse of power in connection with large sums spent on a building that does not belong to the State.

Iraqi justice has never condemned me. »

A quote from Hoshyar Zebari, presidential candidate

Within 15 days of his election, the president must appoint a prime minister, chosen by the largest coalition in parliament.

Once appointed, the traditionally Shiite prime minister has one month to form a government. But the rest of the process promises to be stormy.

By allying with the PDK and the Sunni formation of the head of Parliament Mohamed Al-Halboussi, Moqtada Sadr claims to be able to form a national majority government. It would thus break with the tradition of consensus which allows all the major parties to share power, and would seek to marginalize its rivals.

The game of alliances

But that’s not taking into account the Conquest Alliance, the political showcase for the former pro-Iran paramilitaries of Hachd Al-Chaabi, and the Coordination Framework.

They are counting on the game of alliances to also align a majority.

No one knows how to be in opposition, everyone knows how to share the cake, remarks to AFP the Iraqi political scientist Hamzeh Hadad, seeing a extended coalition.

The political negotiations around the post of prime minister have been accompanied by violence.

At the end of January, three rockets fell near the house of the Speaker of Parliament, Mohammed Al-Halboussi. In November, Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kazimi escaped an assassination attempt.

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