Although the Iraqi constitution detailed the limited powers of the President of the Republic, the political competition for this position has become fiercer in the past days, especially after the early legislative elections that were held on the tenth of last October and their results.
The Iraqi parliament approved the names of 25 candidates for the presidency, hours after the leader of the Kurdistan Democratic Party, Massoud Barzani, put forward an initiative to end the political crisis in the country, while the leader of the Sadrist bloc, Muqtada al-Sadr, renewed his commitment to forming a national majority government.
The Council said, in a statement received by the Iraqi News Agency (INA), that “based on the provisions of Article (4) of the Law No. (8) of 2012, we announce the names of the candidates accepted to run for the position of President of the Republic who will be voted on in a session Parliament scheduled for the seventh of this month.
Among the most prominent candidates included in the list of names are the candidate of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, the outgoing President of the Republic, Barham Salih, and the Kurdistan Democratic Party candidate, Hoshyar Zebari, who previously held the foreign and financial portfolios for many years. Judge Rizgar Muhammad Amin, who was first known during Assuming the position of trial judge for the late Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.
“The House of Representatives announces the names of the candidates for the Presidency of the Republic.” https://t.co/ft3LAm91sk
— Aware (@INA__NEWS) January 31, 2022
Although the Iraqi constitution detailed the limited powers of the President of the Republic, the political competition for this position has reached its fiercest in the past days, especially after the early legislative elections that were held on the tenth of last October and its results.
Since the adoption of the constitution in 2005, the Iraqi state is considered a federal state in which the system of government is republican, representative and democratic, which means that the highest executive authority in the country is through the prime minister with limited honorary powers to the post of president of the republic.
Since the first elected parliamentary government, the position of the presidency has belonged to the Kurdish component in the country, according to the political custom followed in Iraq since the first parliamentary elections held in the country in 2005, and the presidency of the parliament belongs to the share of the Sunnis, and the leadership of the government belongs to the share of Shiites.
In a related development, the leader of the Kurdistan Democratic Party, Massoud Barzani, put forward an initiative to end the political crisis in Iraq, while there was news that the commander of the Quds Force in the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, Major General Ismail Qaani, had arrived in Erbil on Sunday to discuss with the region’s leaders the issue of forming the next Iraqi government.
In a message to the Iraqi people, Barzani said that he had put forward a political initiative to solve problems and provide an appropriate and good environment for the political process in Iraq, in which he suggested that the President of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, Nechirvan Barzani and the Speaker of the Iraqi Parliament, Muhammad al-Halbousi, visit Najaf and meet with the leader of the Sadrist bloc Muqtada al-Sadr and consult on how to continue The political process and the removal of obstacles and problems. And he added, “I hope that this initiative will have positive results, and be in the interest of Iraq and all its components,” without further details.
As part of this initiative, Nechirvan Barzani, Al-Halbousi and the head of the Sovereignty Alliance Khamis Al-Khanjar (which includes the Progress and Azm parties) arrived in Najaf Governorate (south of Baghdad) today, Monday, to meet with Al-Sadr, to discuss the formation of the government.
Sources told Al Jazeera that the delegation suggested to Al-Sadr that the Shiite “coordinating framework” be involved in the government formation talks, and also suggested that he be given his share of ministerial portfolios according to his results in the elections. The source added that al-Sadr promised to respond to the proposals within days, but stipulated that the leader of the State of Law bloc, Nuri al-Maliki, be excluded from the discussions.
In a tweet on Twitter after the meeting, al-Sadr said that he was still committed to forming a national majority government in alliance with the Kurds and Sunnis, and welcomed dialogue with what he described as the national opposition, and called for an end to what he called terrorism and violence against political partners.
— Muqtada al-Sayyid Muhammad al-Sadr (@Mu_AlSadr) January 31, 2022
Before that, Al-Halbousi said, in a tweet on Twitter today, Monday, that a Kurdish-Sunni-Shiite movement had begun to form a purely national government, considering that “the time of foreign interventions in forming governments is over.
“Today, Iraq’s mountains (majority Kurdish areas) and deserts (Sunni majority areas) are moving to Najaf for talks of a purely national Iraqi government, neither eastern nor western,” he added, referring to Iran and the United States.
A delegation that includes the Speaker of Parliament @AlHaLboosii The President of the Kurdistan Region, Mr. Nechirvan Barzani @IKRPresident And the head of the Sovereignty Alliance, Sheikh Khamis Al-Khanjar @khameskhanjar He arrives at Hananah to meet the leader of the Sadrist movement, Muqtada al-Sadr @Mu_AlSadr . pic.twitter.com/S8cbOAQPAJ
– Media Office of the Speaker of Parliament 🇮🇶 (@mediaofspeaker) January 31, 2022
In a related context, the leader of the Civil National Front (Mouj) and former Prime Minister Iyad Allawi put forward an initiative for a political project supervised by Parliament and political forces, in which he suggested that Al-Sadr name the next prime minister, to be approved by the coordination framework.
The Sadrist bloc topped the elections held on October 10, with 73 seats, followed by the Progress Alliance with 37, the State of Law coalition with 33, and the Kurdistan Democratic Party with 31.
While the forces of the Shiite coordination framework did not officially exceed 60 seats, they spoke in a recent parliamentary session about including independents and reaching 88 seats out of 329 seats in the House of Representatives.
Al-Sadr seeks to form a national majority government, unlike the rest of the “coordinating framework” forces that demand a consensual government similar to what has been in place since the 2005 elections.
The formation of the new Iraqi government requires first the election of a new president of the republic by parliament, so that the elected president assigns the candidate of the largest parliamentary bloc to form the government within 30 days, and parliament is scheduled to hold a session to elect the president of the republic on the seventh of next February.