Hoshyar Zebari speaks to the media in Baghdad. File/Reuters
A scheduled vote by Iraq's parliament to elect a new national president was thrown into doubt on Monday after key factions announced boycotts and a frontrunner was suspended by a court.
Supreme Court on Sunday suspended a former foreign minister's presidential bid over graft allegations and many lawmakers said they would boycott a vote for a new head of state, prolonging a political standoff.
The court said the candidacy of Hoshyar Zebari, a Western-friendly veteran Iraqi Kurdish statesman, could not proceed until corruption charges from a separate 2016 stint as finance minister were dealt with.
A cancellation would be the latest chapter of political turmoil in the war-scarred country which, almost four months after a general election, still hasn't chosen a new prime minister.
The suspension of Zebari's presidential bid, one day before parliament was due to elect a new president.
Last week four parliamentarians filed a petition to the federal court demanding Zebari's exclusion from the presidential race, accusing him of financial and administrative corruption in 2016.
According to the power-sharing system in Iraq after 2003, the presidency should be reserved for the Kurds, the Speaker's post for the Sunnis, and the Prime Minister's post for the Shias.
Iraq’s top Shiite cleric said on Friday he was not taking part in talks on the country’s new premier, as his supporters joined apprehensive youths still protesting in the capital despite widening intimidation campaigns.
Anti-government rallies have rocked Baghdad and the Shiite-majority south since October 1, with demonstrators calling for a complete overhaul of a regime they deem corrupt and inefficient.
Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Sheikhs and guests of the country witnessed on Sunday the “Union March”, which was organised by the Presidential Office and launched as part of the activities of the Sheikh Zayed Heritage Festival for 2023 in Al Wathba area in Abu Dhabi.
At least 26 people were injured — including a local cleric — and transferred to hospitals. Police helped reroute traffic in the area after condoning off the site, officials said. The interior minister of Gilgit-Baltistan called the incident an "act of terrorism.”
Modi thanked voters for "their unwavering support” in the states where his party was leading. Rahul Gandhi, the Congress leader, conceded defeat in the three states where his party was trailing.
The UAE and Pakistan enjoy time-tested, strong, strategic relations. It is this that will help adopt a framework to fast-track clean energy transition to curb the devastating effects of climate change, says Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar, Caretaker Prime Minister of Pakistan