Iraqi court excludes ex-Minister from running for presidency

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The Iraqi Federal Supreme Court decided to cancel former Minister Hoshyar Zebari’s presidential candidacy, a week after suspending his nomination over a corruption lawsuit against him.

A statement by the court said that it has decided to cancel Zebari’s candidacy for the presidency of the republic for not fulfilling the conditions for nomination stipulated in the country’s constitution, reports Xinhua news agency.

On February 6, the federal court said that it had decided to “suspend the procedures (nomination and voting in parliament) to elect Hoshyar Zebari to the post of President of the Republic until the case is resolved”.

The court decision came after some lawmakers filed a lawsuit against Zebari’s presidential candidacy over allegations of his financial and administrative corruption, according to the statement.

Two days after Zebari’s suspension, Parliament reopened the nomination for the post of President of the country for three days, noting that the decision came due to the expiration of the constitutional period of 30 days (from the first session on January 9) to elect a new ONE.

The Iraqi parliament had set February 7 as a date for holding its second session to elect a new President of the country from among 25 candidates, but Parliament failed to hold the session due to a lack of quorum and the political disputes among parliamentary blocs.

On January 31, Parliament announced the names of 25 candidates for the presidential election, including incumbent President Barham Salih who represents the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan; former Foreign Minister and Finance Minister Zebari from the Kurdistan Democratic Party; and Rizgar Mohammed Amin, former chief judge of the Iraqi Special Tribunal that organised the trial of late leader Saddam Hussein.

On January 9, it held the first session, in which the lawmakers elected the speaker and his two deputies.

According to the Iraqi constitution, lawmakers should elect a new President from the candidates by a two-thirds majority of its members.

Once elected, the new President will ask the largest parliamentary alliance to name a Prime Minister-designate to form a government within 30 days.

On October 10, 2021, Iraq held the fifth parliamentary election, where Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr’s Sadrist Movement emerged as the biggest winner with 73 out of the 329 seats.

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