Main Iraq coalitions form majority bloc in parliament

By Ali Jawad

BAGHDAD (AA) – Four of Iraq’s main political coalitions have come together to form a majority bloc in parliament that will be responsible for forming the country’s next government.

The alliance includes Moqtada al-Sadr's Sairoon coalition, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi’s Victory Bloc, Ammar al-Hakim’s National Wisdom Movement and Iyad Allawi’s National Coalition.

“We have come together to form a majority bloc, which will draw up a new government,” the four coalitions said in a joint statement released Sunday night.

The statement described the parliamentary bloc as “a cross-sectarian alliance… determined on building a state based on citizens’ rights, justice and equality that can provide a decent life for all its people”.

Earlier Sunday, Iraq’s Federal Court approved the results of a recently-conducted recount of May 12 parliamentary poll results.

For the last two months, results of the election had remained the subject of bitter dispute amid allegations of electoral fraud.

Earlier this month, however, Iraq's electoral commission announced that the manual recount had coincided — with the exception of a single parliamentary seat — with the initial vote count.

Al-Sadr's Sairoon Coalition won 54 parliamentary seats, followed by a Hashd al-Shaabi-led coalition (48 seats) and al-Abadi's Victory Bloc (42 seats).

Now that the Federal Court has approved the recount, incoming MPs can hold a first parliamentary session to elect a new assembly speaker.

Within 30 days of that first session, the assembly will elect — by a two-thirds majority — the country’s next president.

The president will then task the largest parliamentary bloc with drawing up the country’s next government.

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