Iraqi president should call on newly elected parliament to hold first session: PM

Source: Xinhua| 2018-08-20 02:01:07|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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BAGHDAD, Aug. 19 (Xinhua) -- Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi on Sunday called on President Fuad Masoum to invite the new parliament to hold its first session as soon as possible after the federal court ratified the final election results.

"After the ratification of the results of the elections by the Federal Court, which brings us all within the constitutional timelines, I call on the President of the Republic to invite the Council of Representatives to convene as soon as possible within the constitutional time limit to begin the procedures of electing the presidency of the parliament and the (new) president," Abadi said in a speech broadcast by Iraqiya state-run channel.

Abadi also called on the political blocs to accelerate their negotiations to agree on the program of the next government, which must take into account the demands of citizens all over Iraq.

Abadi has been under pressure of months of angry protests by Iraqi citizens in the southern oil hub province of Basra, as well as several Iraqi cities.

The demonstrators accused the influential political parties of being behind the wide-spread corruption that led to high rates of unemployment and failure in rehabilitation of the country's electricity, water and other basic services.

Abadi's speech came hours after the Federal Supreme Court ratified the final results of May 12 parliamentary elections, marking the first step toward forming the new Iraqi government.

The approval confirmed the preliminary results of May 12 elections, which showed the Sairoon Coalition backed by Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr was the front-runner and won 54 seats in the upcoming 329-seat parliament.

The ratification will widely open the door for Iraqi politicians to form the next government and would give a push for the tough negotiations by the political blocs to form the largest alliance before the first session of the new parliament.

According to the Iraqi constitution, the ratification of the results entails outgoing President Masoum to call on the new parliament to hold its first session under the chairmanship of the eldest parliament member within 15 days from the court's ratification, to elect a president of parliament and then the president of the republic, who will ask the largest alliance to form a government within 30 days.

On May 12, millions of Iraqis went to 8,959 polling centers across the country to vote for their parliamentary representatives in the first general election since Iraq's historic victory over the Islamic State militant group last December.