Iraqi Parliament in Crisis?

The failure of Iraq’s newly elected parliament to form a government is creating an uproar, according to a Reuters report.

Iraq Parliament in Uproar Over Stalemate

Iraq’s parliament erupted in acrimony at only its second sitting on Tuesday and journalists were thrown out after lawmakers berated leaders for failing to agree on a new government, two months after historic elections. When parliamentarians were told that despite last-minute talks that delayed the session no agreement had been reached, even on the post of parliamentary speaker, several stood up to say leading politicians were letting down the Iraqi people.

“The Iraqi people who defied the security threats and voted — what shall we tell them? What is the reason for this delay?” Hussein al-Sadr, a politician in the bloc led by Prime Minister Iyad Allawi, asked the assembly before the news blackout.

As the meeting grew heated, the interim speaker ordered journalists to leave and Iraqi television abruptly switched to Arab music. Allawi walked out of the session shortly afterwards. “You can say we are in a crisis,” Barham Salih, a leading Kurdish politician, told reporters.

Such wranglings are hardly unusual in a system with such a ridiculous number of political parties. Still, some consensus should have been reached by now, especially given the stakes.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Kappiy says:

    One thing that is highly unsual for a functioning democracy is summarily kicking out the press. Of course, to say that Iraqi’s democracy is “functioning” is premature–but limiting transparency certainly isn’t a good sign.

    It’s tough being a journalist in Iraq, apparently, especially given the worrisome case of Ion, Miscoci and Ohanesian. Lets hope they make it back safe.