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DATE PUBLISHED: 1400/10/09 - 23:36:1
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Iraqi president calls on elected lawmakers to convene on January 9 for first session


Iraqi President Barham Saleh

Iraqi President Barham Saleh has called on the new parliament to hold its first session on January 9, more than two months after the parliamentary elections whose results were ratified with much delay this week.

"I signed the presidential decree inviting the new parliament to meet on January 9," said the Iraqi president in a statement on Thursday, expressing "hope for a genuinely strong and active government... protecting and serving the Iraqis."

The presidential decree paves the way for the elected legislators to put a new government in place.

The elections were held on October 10, the fifth in Iraq since 2003, when a US-led military invasion ousted the regime of former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.

They were originally planned to be held in 2022, but the date was brought forward in the wake of a mass protest movement that broke out in 2019 to call for economic reforms, better public services, and an effective fight against unemployment and corruption in state institutions.

The Iraqi capital, Baghdad, and a number of major cities became tense after the preliminary results came out, with several political factions and their supporters in the country rejecting them as "fraudulent."

On Monday, Iraqís Federal Supreme Court finally ratified the preliminary results of the elections, dismissing appeals filed by the leaders of the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), better known by the Arabic name as Hashd al-Shaíabi.

The first session will be held under the chairmanship of the eldest of the 329 lawmakers within 15 days from the courtís ratification. In their first session, the elected legislators will choose a parliamentary speaker and two deputies.

Later, the lawmakers will elect a new president who will ask the leader of the largest bloc to form a government as prime minister within 30 days.

"This requires the cooperation (of all) to carry out the reforms necessary for a stable and prosperous Iraq," Saleh added.

The Fatah (Conquest) Alliance - the political arm of the multiparty PMU - managed to secure 17 seats, compared to the 48 it held in the outgoing parliament.

Former prime minister Nuri al-Malikiís State of Law Alliance won 33 seats in the legislature.

Influential cleric Muqtada al-Sadrís Sairoon coalition, Fatahís biggest rival, won 73 seats, compared to its previous 54 seats, making his party the first bloc in parliament, and thus giving him considerable influence in forming a government.

The vote took place under a new election law that divided the country into smaller constituencies - another demand put forth by Iraqi protesters - and allowed for the participation of more independent candidates.

 

LINK: https://www.ansarpress.com/english/25444


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