When announcing the final results, do the political blocs abide by the constitutional deadlines for forming a government in Iraq?
With the imminent announcement of the final results of the Iraqi legislative elections, the country will enter the stage of constitutional and legal timings for the formation of the government, which will be preceded by the election of the Speaker of Parliament, then the President of the Republic, and then assigning the Prime Minister.
“There is no legal evidence to prove that the Iraqi elections have been subjected to fraud.” With these words, the head of the Iraqi Supreme Judicial Council, Faeq Zeidan, confirmed what the Electoral Commission had announced since the closing of the polls for the legislative elections that took place on the tenth of last October, which may mean that The commission may announce the final results in the next few days.
The Iraqi constitution approved in 2006 stipulated that the largest parliamentary bloc is the one that forms the government after the elections, which is what happened in 2006, as all Shiite parties and blocs were affiliated with one coalition and achieved the majority at the time, but it went to a consensus government because of the security situation in the country at that time.
In the 2010 elections, a sharp dispute occurred between the political blocs, forcing them to ask the Constitutional Court to explain the meaning of the largest bloc, as the National Coalition led by Iyad Allawi had won 91 seats, while the State of Law coalition led by former Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki won 89 seats, so that the interpretation of the court came in favor of Al-Maliki, who was able to continue ruling for a second term after his alliance with other parties.
After the preliminary results of the recent elections revealed that the Sadrist movement won 73 seats in return for the loss of many traditional parties, the talk about the largest bloc has returned once again, in light of the movement’s endeavor to form a political majority government in exchange for the attempts of the coordination framework parties – which are opposed to the results of the primary elections – to form an alliance The number of its seats exceeds the seats of the Sadrist movement.
In this regard, legal expert Ali Al-Tamimi says that the interpretation of the Federal Court in 2010 stipulated that the largest bloc is the one that forms in the first parliamentary session, which contradicts Article 45 of the new election law No. 9 of 2020, which prevents deputies from moving between blocs. politics until the formation of the government.
Al-Tamimi continues – in his speech to Al-Jazeera Net – that if these differences continue, the Presidency of the Republic may resort to requesting the Federal Court’s fatwa again, which means adding more time to the date of forming the government.
Contrary to this opinion, legal expert Tariq Harb believes that there is no contradiction between the new election law and the interpretation of the Federal Court, stressing that the interpretation of the Federal Court will remain, especially since the Sadrist movement is destined to ally with the National Progress Alliance headed by Muhammad al-Halbousi and with the Kurdistan Democratic Party headed by Massoud Barzani. .
And about the upcoming alliances, Harb – in his speech to Al Jazeera Net – believes that the alliance of these three forces will make them the largest political force that will enable them to resolve the formation of the next government, including the presidency and ministers.
As for the legal periods stipulated by the constitution to form a government, Harb confirms that after the commission announces the final results of the elections, the electoral judiciary will have 20 days to decide on them, and then go to the Federal Court for approval, which may require 4 days, according to him.
Harb details the series of procedures leading to the formation of the government, commenting, “After the approval of the results, the President of the Republic calls for the new parliament to convene within 15 days, and the parliamentary session will be headed by the oldest deputy.”
And he indicated that the first session requires the election of a speaker of the House of Representatives by a majority of 165 votes out of a total of 329 (the total number of seats in parliament), then the parliament’s presidency will open the door for candidacy for the presidency within 15 days, and that his choice will be through the vote of 220 deputies in his favour, and in the event that the political blocs fail to Therefore, Parliament is heading for a new vote and the one with the highest votes will be the president regardless of the number of MPs present or whether or not a quorum is complete, according to Harb.
Returning to Al-Tamimi, he sees that Articles (68) and (70) of the Iraqi constitution stipulate that the election of the President of the Republic shall be made by a two-thirds majority of the members of Parliament, and in the event of failure to do so, he shall be elected by a majority of votes (165 deputies), which differs with the legal expert Tariq war.
Choosing the Prime Minister
Regarding assigning the Prime Minister, the law sets the elected President of the Republic 15 days to assign the candidate of the most numerous parliamentary bloc to form the Council of Ministers, according to Al-Tamimi, who says that the candidate for prime minister has 30 days to complete the formation and selection of his cabinet, and in the event of his failure, the President of the Republic assigns another candidate. With a new 30-day period to complete the task, as stipulated by Article (76) of the Constitution.
This proposition agrees with the opinion of legal expert Tariq Harb, but he confirms that forming the next government will not be as difficult as it is being promoted in the media, especially since the Sadrist movement is the largest electoral bloc and through alliances.
And about the parliament’s vote on the government cabinet after choosing the prime minister for it, Harb reveals that the parliament’s vote on the cabinet is through what is known as the “simple majority,” which means the majority of those present in the session that will witness the parliament’s vote on the government cabinet, provided that the parliament’s quorum is 165 Deputy at the minimum, according to him.
As for the largest parliamentary bloc, former judge Mounir Haddad – in his speech to Al Jazeera Net – believes that the interpretation of the Constitution of the Federal Court in 2010 will be adopted in these elections, pointing out that there is no contradiction with the new election law No. 9 of 2020.
type of government
The debate is growing whether the next government will have a political or consensual majority, and in this regard, Haddad believes that the next government, like its predecessors, will be consensual. A Shiite against another, as it is not in their interest to enter into a conflict in which they have neither elegance nor sentences, and that the position of President of the Republic will be for the Kurds.
On the other hand, although the constitution and laws stipulate the need for political blocs to abide by the constitutional deadlines for forming a government, previous governments since 2003 have not adhered to this, according to a researcher in Iraqi political affairs, Ghanem al-Abed.
Al-Abed cites his saying recalling the political differences in 2010, when the formation of the second Nuri al-Maliki government took about a year, pointing out that a full month has passed since the last elections were held without the final results being announced or approved.
Al-Abed expects – in his speech to Al-Jazeera Net – that Iraq is on the verge of a scenario similar to what happened in 2018, which means that the Sadrist movement and the coordination framework will agree on a consensual prime minister to stave off differences, which may expose Iraq to great dangers.
Regarding the future of the next government, he believes that it will be consensual and will be as he described it as a “one-year government,” noting that major political differences within the Shiite house will trigger successive crises that will lead to the government’s resignation, according to him.
On the other hand, Professor of Political Science at Cihan University Muhannad al-Janabi rules out forming a consensus government, indicating that the country is heading for a relative majority government, and that the forces of the Sadrist movement, Progress and the Democratic Party will tend to ally with other political blocs to reach a bloc that includes two-thirds of parliament members, which gives them comfort within Parliament.
And he continues that if the forces opposed to the election results are able to continue the protests and escalate the situation, Parliament may move to a first parliamentary session open in time, which may put Iraq before the minimum 4 months to form a government, which may be the most difficult in the country since 2003.