BAGHDAD (AFP) – Iraq’s new parliament will convene on June 14 for the first time since March 7 elections that have yet to produce a new government, a presidency official said on Tuesday.
“The president (Jalal Talabani) decided that the parliament will meet on Monday, June 14,” Nasir al-Ani, the head of the Iraqi presidency’s office, told AFP.
Once parliament is opened, Iraq’s constitution states that MPs must first select a speaker for the Council of Representatives, and then choose a new president.
The president will then call on the leader of the biggest parliamentary bloc to form a government, who will be given 30 days to do so.
Iraq’s supreme court on June 1 ratified the results of the general election, confirming initial figures which put former premier Iyad Allawi’s Iraqiya bloc in the lead, followed closely by Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki’s State of Law Alliance.
The court has opined, however, that a coalition agreed before parliament first meets would gain primacy over Iraqiya if it held more combined seats.
Earlier this month, State of Law and the Iraqi National Alliance, led by Shiite religious groups, announced they would form a post-election coalition, leaving them just short of a majority, though they have yet to formalise the arrangement.