Asharq Al-awsat English Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper

Qaani's Efforts to Reach Political Understandings in Iraq Stumble at Barzani, Sadr's Demands

Qaani's Efforts to Reach Political Understandings in Iraq Stumble at Barzani, Sadr's Demands

Tuesday, 8 February, 2022 - 06:00
A picture hows few Iraqi lawmakers attending a scheduled parliament session in Baghdad, with most major political blocs boycotting it. (AFP)

The Iraqi parliament announced on Monday that the postponement of the presidential elections will not impact the work of the legislature.

The parliament had on Monday cancelled the polls as it lacked the quorum to hold a session.

Only 58 members out of 329 were present, which is less than the necessary two-thirds quorum needed to choose a new president for the mostly ceremonial post.

On Sunday many lawmakers said they would boycott the proceedings after the Supreme Court suspended a former foreign minister's presidential bid over graft allegations.

The court said on Sunday that the candidacy of Hoshyar Zebari, a veteran Iraqi Kurdish statesman, could not proceed until corruption charges from a separate 2016 stint as finance minister were dealt with.

The elections have been postponed indefinitely until political parties can resolve their differences.

Political sources said commander of Iran's Quds Forces, Esmail Qaani, has become involved in efforts to reached political understandings to resolve the presidential elections and form a new government.

He has held several meetings with officials in Baghdad, Erbil and Najaf to reach agreements with officials.

His efforts have, however, stumbled at Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) leader Masoud Barzani's insistence on Zebari's nomination. The Patriotic Union of Kurdistan is meanwhile insisting on the reelection of President Barham Salih.

Qaani has also stumbled at Sadrist movement leader cleric Moqtada al-Sadr's insistence on the formation of national majority government that excludes the rival Shiite pro-Iran Coordination Framework. He is also adamant on the exclusion of the State of Law coalition, specifically its leader former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

Sadr emerged as the winner in the October parliamentary elections, giving him control over the formation of the government.

Editor Picks