Leader of Asa’ib Ahl Al-Haq Calls for New Parliamentary Elections in Iraq

Leader of Asa’ib Ahl Al-Haq Calls for New Parliamentary Elections in Iraq

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Qais al-Khazali, a senior Iraqi politician, called for new parliamentary elections after dozens of legislators loyal to influential leader Muqtada al-Sadr withdrew from the assembly.

Khazali said Friday that the mass resignation of 73 lawmakers from al-Sadr’s bloc further aggravated the existing problems and plunged Iraq deeper into political crises.

“It is not possible to form a government given the current circumstances, and it will not succeed,” he said.

“I call for a political agreement to hold re-election after amending the electoral law, canceling electronic voting, and making essential changes in the High Electoral Commission," added Khazali, the leader of the Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq resistance group, which is part of Iraq’s anti-terror Popular Mobilization Units or Hashd al-Sha’abi.

Iraq’s parliament swore in dozens of new legislators on Thursday, replacing the 73 Sadrist lawmakers who quit en masse on June 11 in a bid to break a logjam over the establishment of a new government.

Iraqi parliamentary elections were held on October 10 last year, the fifth in Iraq since the US-led invasion of the Arab country in 2003.

They were originally planned to be held in 2022, but the date was brought forward in the wake of a mass protest movement that broke out in 2019 to call for economic reforms, better public services, and an effective fight against unemployment and corruption in state institutions.

In the last October’s parliamentary elections to elect the 329 members of the Council of Representatives, the Sadrist political bloc secured most seats – 73.

The Fatah (Conquest) Alliance – the political arm of the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) – won 17 seats, down from 48 it had won in the previous election.

Despite Sadr’s impressive show in the election, Iraqi law requires a super-majority, namely two-thirds of the vote, to elect a president.

According to Iraq's electoral law, when a member of parliament resigns, the electoral commission replaces them with the candidate who placed second in the same electoral circle.

The Sadr movement had formed an alliance with the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), led by Masoud Barzani, and other parties to form a coalition.

The movement, however, failed to find common ground with its rival, the Coordination Framework.

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