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Iraq parliament postpones sessions until protests end

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Iraq’s parliament has announced that it is postponing the holding of its sessions until the end of the protests that have swept through the country in recent weeks, repealing the parliament’s former decision that it will meet after the Shia Arbaeen pilgrimage ends.

On Saturday, the parliament’s Legal Committee confirmed that the House of Representatives will be holding its first session on 26 October, the day after demonstrations are due to come to an end.

Sources from the Iraqi parliament informed the UK-based news site Al-Araby Al-Jadeed that there exist “deep differences within the legislative authority” due to relations between the Presidency and the Parliament and their methods of dealing with the protesters.

 

The source also mentioned “the attempt to absorb the wave of protests without coming up with real decisions, [in order to] change the reality or the image of Iraq’s political and economic situation.”

The source detailed the extent of the divisions within the Iraqi political body, revealing that “some deputies want to question the prime minister and his government, and dismiss those involved in the suppression of demonstrators.”

 

It added that the questioning of the government has been met with “strong rejection” by some blocs, most prominently the parliamentary bloc which represents the political wing of the Popular Mobilisation Units (PMU) – consisting of the country’s Shia militias – funded and backed by Iran.

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