25 Oct 2010

Iraqi parliament ordered to reconvene

7:32 am on 25 October 2010

The Supreme Court in Iraq has ordered the new parliament to reconvene, saying an earlier decision to suspend itself indefinitely was unconstitutional.

Since the general election on 7 March, the Iraqi parliament has met only once, for 20 minutes when its members were sworn in.

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They then decided to delay the formal return of parliament to give political leaders time to negotiate alliances.

The elections saw a bloc led by former Prime Minister Iyad Allawi emerge with a slender advantage. Neither he nor current PM Nouri Maliki has since formed a coalition and Iraq is still in a political deadlock.

In a judgement issued on Sunday, the Supreme Court said it had decided to cancel the decision to delay parliament's return, and to require a parliamentary speaker to call on lawmakers to convene parliament and resume work.

However, the BBC reports parliament will not elect a speaker and other officers until the final composition of a government is decided upon.