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Stumbled Return of Iraqi Parliament Due to Budget, Elections

Stumbled Return of Iraqi Parliament Due to Budget, Elections

Thursday, 4 January, 2018 - 15:45
Parliament Speaker Salim al-Jubouri. Reuters

Along with the large number of deferred dues since 2017, including the approval of the draft laws of the financial budget and elections, the Iraqi parliament failed to hold its first session of the new year on time and postponed it for the following day.

Parliament Speaker Salim al-Jubouri promised to host the Electoral Commission and call for hosting Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi to resolve the dispute between the government and parliament on the budget.

Both Abadi and Jubouri have exchanged accusations of delaying the approval of the budget this year after the political differences on the budget and elections have led to the lack of quorum to hold the meeting.

A source in the parliament told Asharq Al-Awsat that Jubouri held a meeting with the heads of blocs and committees due to lack of quorum.

"It was agreed not to include the budget law, the parliamentary elections law and the provincial elections law in today’s session.”

"It was also agreed to host the prime minister to resolve the dispute on both issues, of which can no longer be postponed," said the source, who requested to remain anonymous.

At a press conference held in the parliament building on Wednesday, Jubouri said that the parliament will continue to hold open sessions to approve the financial budget for this year.

He also stressed that there is no official date for the elections although the cabinet proposed to hold it on May 12.

The positions of the political blocs and parties are still varying in terms of the date of the elections as the government and some forces want to conduct them on their scheduled date while other forces are demanding to postpone them for few months.

Head of the Iraqi Forces Coalition Salah al-Jubouri told Asharq Al-Awsat that his coalition supports postponing the elections “because of the inability of the government to meet its obligations.”

He explained that the coalition “wants to hold fair elections, which has no ground so far.”

Jubouri added that Abadi “has already put several obligations on the government to implement them before the date of the elections. Among these obligations are the return of displaced people and arms control by the state, of which only some have been implemented so far”.

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