Iraq’s parliament has decided to hold a new session on February 7 to elect the country’s President…reports Asian Lite News
The decision was made after a meeting between Parliamentary Speaker Mohammed al-Halbousi and his two deputies, during which they agreed to hold another parliamentary session to continue constitutional processes toward forming a new government, Xinhua news agency reported, citing a statement issued by the parliament.
The meeting also decided to announce the names of the candidates who are eligible to run for Iraqi president on January 31, it said.
Local media reports said that the most prominent presidential candidates include incumbent President Barham Salih, who is running for the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, and former Foreign Minister and Finance Minister Hoshyar Zebari, who is running for the Kurdistan Democratic Party.
On October 10, 2021, Iraq held the fifth parliamentary elections since the 2003 US-led invasion, with Shi’ite Muslim cleric Moqtada al-Sadr becoming the biggest winner with 73 of 329 seats.
Iraq’s Supreme Court ratified the election results in later December after rejecting the appeals from the Iran-backed Shi’ite factions which alleged fraud in the elections.
The Iraqi President is elected by the Council of Representatives, Iraq’s parliament, by a two-thirds majority, and is limited to two four-year terms.
Once elected, the new President will ask the largest parliamentary alliance to name a prime minister-designate to form a government within 30 days.
Covid in Iraq
The Iraqi Ministry of Health reported 8,107 new Covid-19 cases on Wednesday, the highest daily count so far in 2022, raising the nationwide caseload to 2,175,793.
It also reported 10 new deaths, bringing the death toll from the virus to 24,319, while the total recoveries in Iraq climbed by 3,154 to 2,087,357, Xinhua news agency quoted the ministry as saying.
Meanwhile, 53,590 people got vaccinated against Covid-19 in a period of 24 hours, bringing the total number of doses administered in the country to 9,167,113.
Since the start of 2022, the ministry has reported continued increases in Covid-19 infections in Iraq.
Recently, Saudi Arabia and Iraq had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to link the power grids of the two countries.
The deal was inked by Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Saud Al Saud and Iraqi Minister of Electricity Adel Karim, on Tuesday, Xinhua news agency reported citing the official Saudi Press.
It aims to share the electricity-generating reserves and exchange electricity between the two countries for emergency use in case of a power cut, it said.
The deal will also accelerate the export and import of electricity between the two sides or with other Arab countries.
The MoU is the latest of many cooperation initiatives between the two countries that reflect the major progress made in the bilateral ties in recent years.