Thu, 08 Dec 2022

BAGHDAD, Sept. 28 (Xinhua) -- Iraq's parliament reconvened on Wednesday after nearly two months of suspension and decided to reject the resignation of Parliament Speaker Mohammed al-Halbousi.

Up to 235 lawmakers attended the session of the 329-seat parliament headed by the deputy speaker Shakhwan Abdullah Ahmed, according to a statement issued by al-Halbousi's media office.

The lawmakers voted in rejection of the resignation of al-Halbousi from his post as parliament speaker by the majority of 222 lawmakers, the statement said.

The lawmakers also elected Muhsen al-Mandalawi to succeed the first deputy speaker, Hakim al-Zamili, who resigned earlier with lawmakers loyal to Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr.

During the session, three rockets landed at about 3:30 p.m. (1230 GMT) in the heavily fortified Green Zone, where the parliament building is located, wounding seven people, the media office of the Iraqi Joint Operations Command said in a statement.

Yahia Rasoul, spokesman of the commander-in-chief of the Iraqi forces, said in a statement that one of the three rockets landed in front of the parliament building, damaging nearby vehicles and buildings.

The parliament suspended its sessions on July 30 after thousands of al-Sadr supporters started an open sit-in in the Iraqi parliament building.

Wednesday's session came amid continuing political disputes that have escalated between al-Sadr's Sadrist Movement, the biggest winner with 73 seats in the parliament on Oct. 10, and his rivals in the Coordination Framework (CF), an umbrella group of Shiite parliamentary parties.

Al-Sadr demanded in the past weeks to dissolve parliament and hold early elections, but his demands were rejected by the CF parties that became the largest bloc after al-Sadr ordered his followers to withdraw from the parliament in June.

Al-Sadr tried to resort to the Federal Supreme Court to dissolve the parliament, but the court stressed on September 7 in a statement that the constitution defines its jurisdiction, which does not include the dissolution of the parliament.

During the past months, the continued disputes among the Shiite parties have hampered the formation of a new Iraqi government, making it unable to elect a new president by a two-thirds majority of the 329-seat parliament under the Iraqi constitution.

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