Al-Halboosi's dismissal is final, unappealable: head of Federal Court

Al-Halboosi's dismissal is final, unappealable: head of Federal Court

Shafaq News/ The Federal Supreme Court's ruling on Tuesday on the country’s most powerful Sunni politician is final and not subject to appeal, Judge Jasem Mohammad Abboud told state media on Thursday.

"The decision to terminate the membership of Speaker Mohammad Rikani al-Halboosi and Lawmaker Laith al-Dulaimi is obligatory for all authorities, in accordance with Article 94 of the constitution," the head of the court said in a statement to Iraq's official news agency, INA.

Stressing that "this decision is not subject to legal challenges," he noted that "the Federal Court is competent to consider such matters under Article 93 of the constitution."

Earlier this week, Iraq's top court terminated the tenure of parliament speaker, who called the decision "strange" and suggested it violated the constitution and undermined national stability.

In a video shared by his media office, al-Halboosi said, "We are surprised by the issuance of such decisions. We are surprised by their lack of respect for the constitution."

He said that in his five years as speaker, he had operated with integrity and "never discriminated" between Sunni and Shia Muslims.

The ministers of culture, planning, and industry handed in their resignations to protest what they said was the "targeting" of al-Halboosi.

Lawmakers had gathered for a regular parliamentary session, and al-Halboosi was in the chamber at the time the decision was issued but then exited.

Al-Halboosi, a former governor of Anbar governorate, was elected speaker in 2018. He was 37 at the time and the youngest speaker of Parliament in Iraq's history. He was re-elected in 2022 for a second term.

He has been the highest Sunni official in Iraq. Under the country's sectarian power-sharing system, the parliament speaker is always Sunni, the prime minister Shiite, and the president Kurdish.

Now 42, the former engineer from western Iraq who worked as a US contractor after the United States invaded in 2003, cultivated good relations with Shiite Muslims and Kurds, who helped his rise to power.

The court made its decision against the backdrop of a dispute between al-Halboosi and al-Dulaimi, also Sunni. Al-Dulaimi had filed a lawsuit against al-Halbousi claiming that the speaker had forged his signature on a resignation letter, an allegation the speaker denied.

Deputy Speaker Mohsen al-Mandalawi, a Shiite Fayli Kurd, will take over as interim speaker until a new head of the legislature is appointed.

The political shake-up comes ahead of Iraq's scheduled local elections on December 18. Polls for governorate councils last took place a decade ago

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