Iraq’s new National Assembly holds its first meeting

The new Iraqi National Assembly held its first meeting on the afternoon of the 9th, and the previous Speaker Mohamed Habhi was re-elected as Speaker.

The meeting that day was initially presided over by the oldest member of Parliament and former Speaker Mahmoud Mashhadani. 325 of the 329 newly elected members of the National Assembly attended. After the meeting began, some parliamentarians from different factions quarreled fiercely. Mashhadani was rushed to the hospital due to sudden physical discomfort, and the meeting was interrupted.

Subsequently, the meeting resumed under the acting chairmanship of Congressman Khalid Deiraj. 228 parliamentarians continued to participate in the meeting, and Habhi was elected as the new Speaker of the National Assembly. In voting later in the day, Hakim Zamili and Sheikhwan Abdullah were elected as the first and second vice-presidents of the new National Assembly.

Iraq will hold a new National Assembly election in October 2021. On December 27, the Iraqi Federal Supreme Court approved the final results of the National Assembly elections. According to the Iraqi constitution, the chairman of the parliament should be Sunnis, and the two vice-chairmen are elected from Shiites and Kurds. Parliament shall elect a new president within 30 days after the first meeting. The new president then appoints a candidate from the largest party group in the parliament to be the new prime minister and nominates a cabinet candidate within 30 days.

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