Iraq’s top court sets August 30 as date to discuss case for dissolving parliament

Influential cleric Moqtada Al Sadr has called for fresh elections after 10 months of political deadlock over forming new government

A view of the Iraqi Federal Supreme Court building in Baghdad. EPA
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Iraq’s Federal Supreme Court said it will hold a session next Tuesday, August 30, to discuss the case for dissolving parliament amid a political deadlock.

The court said it will discuss the case brought by the head of the Sadrist movement's political body, Nassar Al Rubaie, according to a brief statement carried by the Iraqi News Agency.

The case submitted by Mr Al Rubaie calls for a ruling to dissolve parliament and force the president to set a date for holding legislative elections in accordance with the Iraqi constitution.

Iraq's politicians have been unable to agree on a new government since the general election last October.

Supporters of the influential cleric Moqtada Al Sadr occupied parliament last month in a bid to block his political rivals from attempting to form a government.

On August 10, Mr Al Sadr gave Iraq's Supreme Judiciary Council a week to dissolve parliament to end the political stand-off. However, the council said it lacked the authority to do so as only lawmakers can vote to dissolve the legislature.

Supporters of Mr Al Sadr briefly surrounded the council headquarters on Tuesday, prompting members to announce the closure of courts across the country. It reversed its decision after the protesters pulled back later in the day.

Supporters of Iraqi populist leader Moqtada Al Sadr gather for a sit-in in front of parliament amid a political crisis in Baghdad, Iraq. Reuters

The council's president, Faiq Zidan, who is also head of the Federal Court of Cassation, was among the officials at a meeting with President Barham Salih on Wednesday to discuss the country's political crisis.

Prime Minister Mustafa Al Kadhimi and Parliament Speaker Mohammed Al Halbousi also attended the meeting

The presidential office said the meeting’s participants urged security forces to ensure stability and security in the country, and that “under no circumstances” should they become “drowned in the unrelenting cycle of these political differences”.

Iraq has been mired in political deadlock for months, with followers of Mr Al Sadr and his political rivals — a coalition of Iran-backed Shiite political groups and militias — at odds over forming a new government after last year’s parliamentary elections.

Mr Al Sadr's bloc won the largest share of seats in the October vote but failed to form a majority government, leading to one of Iraq's worst political crises in recent years.

Updated: August 25, 2022, 5:38 PM
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