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HomeWorld NewsIraq’s parliament elects a president as rockets fall on Baghdad

Iraq’s parliament elects a president as rockets fall on Baghdad


A brand new Iraqi president was elected Thursday by the nation’s parliament, a full yr after early parliamentary elections which have did not put an finish to persistent political gridlock and dysfunction.

Abdul Latif Rashid, a veteran Kurdish politician and former water minister, prevailed within the second spherical of voting over present president Barham Salih. He shortly appointed Muhammed al-Sudani as prime minister, giving him 30 days to kind a brand new authorities. Sudani is a part of the most important Shiite bloc in parliament and is an in depth ally of former prime minister Nouri al-Maliki.

There was heightened safety throughout Baghdad on Thursday, with safety forces out in giant numbers throughout the Inexperienced Zone, the closely fortified space that homes overseas embassies and authorities buildings, and main bridges closed to site visitors. However at the same time as MPs forged their votes, a barrage of rockets landed close by, wounding a number of individuals and damaging vehicles within the parliament’s parking zone.

Iraq has been gripped by political disaster since final yr amid a feud between the Sadrist motion, led by outstanding cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, and the “Coordination Framework, ” a coalition that features Maliki’s social gathering and different Shiite factions extra carefully aligned with Iran.

The dispute, which had prevented the election of a president or the formation of a authorities, escalated in July, as supporters from each side took to the streets and launched competing sit-ins within the heart of Baghdad. Sadr then referred to as for the dissolution of parliament and the holding of recent legislative elections; when his calls for have been rebuffed, violence broke out within the capital and a number of other different cities.

On Aug. 29, 30 individuals have been killed in clashes between Sadr loyalists and their Shiite rivals in Baghdad, stirring reminiscences of civil conflict and fears of additional escalation. Sadr was ultimately pressured to name off his supporters, and specialists say Thursday’s election leaves him a diminished determine.

“I feel that what occurred at the moment is a deadly blow to Moqtada al-Sadr politically,” stated Mohammed Jassim, an Iraqi political analyst based mostly in Baghdad. “With the victory of the Coordination Framework over Moqtada al-Sadr, the highway is totally paved for them to cross their [prime minister] candidate and kind the federal government.”

Jassim stated the triumph of the Coordination Framework was additionally a victory for Iran and a setback for American pursuits within the area. “The Iranian-backed Coordination Framework will do all the things of their energy to get rid of any U.S. presence within the nation and place obstacles to any financial cooperation with the U.S., all in favor of Iran,” he stated.

As information of the vote reached the streets of Baghdad, militia members allied with the Coordination Framework drove across the metropolis, honking their horns and waving flags in celebration.

However few others within the capital have been being attentive to the developments in parliament. Solely 40 p.c of Iraqis turned out to vote within the parliamentary elections final yr, and lots of have given up on the political course of.

“It’s simply the identical system with completely different faces since 2003,” stated Jawad Ali, a 43-year-old taxi driver. “Often an individual ought to be optimistic when there’s a formation of recent authorities, however for us nothing will change. Let’s simply hope they gained’t minimize off the roads anymore.”




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