Al-Halboosi wins a second mandate as Parliament Speaker
Category: Iraq News
Shafaq News/ The newly elected Parliament elected the head of al-Takaddom bloc, Mohammad al-Halboosi, for a second mandate as a parliament speaker.
Al-Halboosi secured 200 votes while his competitor, the Elder Member of the Parliamentary Mahmoud al-Mashhadani, won only 14 votes. Fourteen MPs cast a blank ballot.
Iraq’s parliament held its first session since October's national election on Sunday but failed to elect a speaker, in what should have been the first step toward forming a new government.
The speaker selection process was disrupted as competing political blocs each claimed to hold a parliamentary majority. After heated debates and shouting among lawmakers, the temporary leader of the assembly, Mahmoud al-Mashahadani, decided to adjourn the session and it is not known when parliament will resume.
In a further complication, Mashahadani, who at 73 is the oldest member of parliament, was suddenly taken ill and transported to hospital by ambulance. A new temporary speaker will need to be appointed before parliament can resume, parliament's media office said. It did not give further details about Mashahadani's condition except to say that his blood pressure was being checked.
The lawmaker appeared to be in good condition, according to witnesses who later saw him there.
The chaotic meeting ushers in what is likely to be a lengthy period of political wrangling among rival groups to choose a new president and prime minister.
According to Iraq's constitution, the largest bloc in Parliament has the right to choose the new prime minister. But as the meeting got underway Sunday, a coalition known as the Shiite Coordination Framework, an alliance of Shiite factions which object to the vote results, submitted a paper claiming they, rather than al-Sadr, now hold the biggest parliamentary bloc with 88 seats.
Parliament had been due to elect a speaker and two deputies during its first meeting.