Baghdad, Oct 27 (EFE).- The government of Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani won a vote of confidence Thursday in Iraq’s National Assembly, putting an end to a year of political paralysis following the legislative elections of October 2021.
Despite disagreements that led to a brief altercation on the floor, a majority of the 253 lawmakers present voted to confirm Al-Sudani’s Cabinet and endorse his program.
Al-Sudani, 52, was the choice of the Coordination Framework, an alliance of powerful Shiite factions aligned with Iran that together account for 138 out of 329 seats in the assembly, but also got the nod from a Sunni bloc led by parliament speaker Mohammed al-Halbussi and two Kurdish parties.
Candidates endorsed by influential Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr won a plurality in the legislature in the October 2021 elections, but abandoned parliament in June after the Coordination Framework repeatedly obstructed their attempts to form a government.
The withdrawal of the 73 Sadrist lawmakers opened the door for the Framework to put forward Al-Sudani as prime minister.
But the popular Al-Sadr, a defender of Iraqi sovereignty who opposes the influence of both Iran and the United States, mobilized his thousands of supporters to invade parliament and halt the installation of Al-Sudani.
The accompanying violence left 35 people dead, but the protesters eventually relented and the seats of the Sadrist lawmakers were taken over by members of the Coordination Framework.
In his speech to the assembly Thursday, the new prime minister indicated that he will make battling corruption a priority.
“The pandemic of corruption that affects all aspects of life is more deadly than that of the coronavirus, and it has been one of the causes of the economic problems, of the fragility of the state’s authority, the increase in poverty and unemployment, and deficient public services,” Al-Sudani said. EFE