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Growing Fears Over Constitutional Chaos in Iraq
By Hamza Mustafa

In an effort to prevent a constitutional vacuum, which might be witnessed in Iraq as of the first of July, President Fuad Masoom, Parliament Speaker Salim Jabouri, and a number of the most prominent leaders of political blocs participated in a broad meeting on Saturday, in the absence of Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi, to discuss the repercussions of Parliament's vote on the amendment of the electoral law.

A statement issued by the presidency said that the meeting saw open discussions about the circumstances and the results of the recent legislative elections, in addition to amendments approved by the parliament and the subsequent measures.

According to the statement, participants underlined the importance of "working responsibly and vigorously in order to contain any repercussions, maintain political and security stability, respect the choice of voters, abide by the constitution and the laws in force, promote the principle of separation of powers and prevent any vacuum."

Jabouri, after leaving the meeting, acknowledged the deep differences between participants, especially since the speaker himself has lost in the elections by 76 votes and was one of the strongest defenders of the constitutionality of the actions taken by Parliament.

Vice President Nouri al-Maliki was quoted by Rudaw news agency as saying that participants have reached a number of proposals, or solutions, to the elections results.

"The positions are close to each other. We might be able to resolve the problems," Al-Maliki told reporters following the meeting.

In remarks to Asharq Al-Awsat, Amir al-Kanani, advisor to the president, said: "The meeting acknowledged the existence of constitutional irregularities and the need to address them, especially as the parties that were the cause of some of these irregularities also recognized them."

"Everyone is now waiting for the decision of Federal Supreme Court, fearing that the country enters a constitutional vacuum," he added.

The process of recounting the votes, which was adopted by the parliament, will be initiated manually under the supervision of the judiciary, unless the decision is overturned by the Federal Supreme Court, the highest judicial authority in the country.


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