Zebari excluded .. the post of Iraqi president in the battle of “breaking the bones”

With the new decision, the battle to choose the President of the Republic of Iraq entered the bone-breaking stage, after the lawsuits that demanded the exclusion of Zebari, from the presidential race, on charges of “wasting public money, corruption and exploiting his position.”

The court’s decision came one day before the Iraqi parliament convened its session to choose the new Iraqi president.

Accusations from the “Finance” for the “Presidency”

The lawsuits against Zebari’s candidacy were filed by 5 Iraqi parliamentarians, including the representative of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, Dylan Ghafour, and the representative of the Shiite Coordination Framework, Ali Turki, on Thursday.
On Thursday, retired judge and presidential candidate Hussein Ahmed Hashem Al-Safi filed another lawsuit demanding the issuance of a judicial decision to exclude Hoshyar Zebari, the candidate and the current Iraqi president, Barham Salih.

The lawsuit document, which was circulated by Iraqi media, confirmed that Zebari “does not meet the constitutional conditions to run for the position, as a result of his dismissal from the Ministry of Finance in 2016 on suspicion of involvement in files related to integrity.”

The document said that “the judiciary is investigating his accusation of spending more than 3 billion and 771 million dinars in rents to a number of employees of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs during his tenure as Minister of Finance, 2014-2016 – and before the portfolio of foreign affairs – despite the objection of the administrative authorities.”

And she confirmed: “The candidate has been issued a summons in accordance with the provisions of Article 340 of the Penal Code, in that case, but he has not attended yet.”

Al-Sadr and Zebari

The competition for the position is limited to the current Iraqi president, Barham Salih, the candidate of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan led by Bafel Talabani, and Hoshyar Zebari, the candidate of the Kurdistan Democratic Party led by Massoud Barzani, with 24 other candidates present, but their chances of winning seem low.

The Sadrist bloc announced a boycott of Monday’s session devoted to electing the president, while the leader of the Sadrist movement, Muqtada al-Sadr, sparked controversy when he urged his bloc’s deputies not to vote for Hoshyar Zebari, if he did not meet the conditions.

Al-Sadr said in a tweet on “Twitter”: “If the candidate of the Democratic Party allied to the presidency of the republic does not meet the conditions, I call on the representatives of reform not to vote for him,” adding: “We are advocates of reform, not advocates of authority and governance.”

bone fracture

The competition between the Kurdish forces for the position of president reached the stage of “bone-breaking”. While the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan insists on renewing the current president, Barham Salih, the Kurdistan Democratic Party presented its candidate, Zebari.

As for the forces of the coordinating framework, the political umbrella of the armed militias, it found itself between two candidates, which it did not want to install.

The Iraqi political analyst, Ali Al-Saheb, says that “the stage of choosing the president has entered the bone-breaking battle between the Kurdish forces,” noting that “the armed militias reject both candidates, but the tripartite agreement concluded between Al-Sadr, Al-Halbousi and Barzani, led to this result, and these candidates, and forced them to admissions”.

In exclusive statements to “Sky News Arabia” following the decision of the Federal Supreme Court, Al-Sahib expected that “the next stage will witness mutual judicial appeals that will postpone the settlement of the position, and will create a constitutional vacuum in the country to exceed the legal period stipulated in the constitution regarding the mechanisms for choosing the president of the republic.”

And he continues: “Iraq is going through a phase of political blockage, and the current reliance will be on negotiations to reach compromise solutions or a breakthrough that ends this blockage.”

No objection to nomination

The Iraqi parliament, by a majority vote, dismissed Zebari from his post in 2016 over accusations of corruption, while the Democratic Party says that “the dismissal was politically motivated.”

Commenting on, the Iraqi legal expert Haider Al-Sufi says that “there is no legal article preventing Zebari’s candidacy for the presidency, because he was accused of corruption cases and was not convicted, and that the constitutional text says that the accused is innocent until proven guilty.”

He adds to “Sky News Arabia” that the responsibility lies with members of the Iraqi parliament; Because they are responsible for voting on people, and they should not vote for any person accused of corruption.”

Zebari responds

Regarding the lawsuits and accusations of corruption, Zebari replied that “the issue of withdrawing confidence from me as the Minister of Finance was politicized, and no conviction was issued against me by the judiciary.”

The Iraqi candidate said: “My candidacy for the presidency is definitive and we are going with it to the end,” adding, in statements to the official “Al-Iraqiya” channel on Friday, that “Barzani’s initiative came after the good relationship of the Democrat with the Alliance of Sovereignty and the Sadrist movement,” stressing that “there is no suggestion of a role for to break up the Shiite house.

He adds: “It is not in our interest to have a government or constitutional vacuum,” according to Zebari, who pointed out that “we are working to expedite the formation of a government with the broad participation of national forces.”

Concerning the weapons of the Popular Mobilization militias, he affirms: “There is a vision to integrate the armed factions and strengthen the state’s authority, and there is no attempt to prejudice the Popular Mobilization.”

He stressed that his candidacy for the position “is definitive and that the vote needs two-thirds of the number of members of Parliament, and we have to mobilize to obtain a sufficient number.”

And regarding the National Union competition and the nomination of Barham Salih, he says: “The Union took its chance for the presidency for 17 years,” noting: “We and the Union are partners, and there is exaggeration and exaggeration of some positions.”

deep disagreements

Disagreements erupted between the Kurdish forces represented in the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan and the Kurdistan Democratic Party, over the eligibility of naming the next president of Iraq.

Commenting, a member of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan Karwan Anwar said: “The Kurdistan Democratic Party’s adherence to Zebari’s nomination is not in the interest of all Iraqis, especially the masses of the Kurdistan region, who reject him categorically.”

He added, “It has never occurred in the history of any country that a person who was referred to the Integrity Committee and whose confidence was withdrawn due to corruption cases and who was appointed President of the Republic was chosen, is the biggest farce or a political joke,” he says.

As for the member of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, Tariq Jawhar, he says: “Iraq is currently living in a phase of political obstruction that will only be resolved through negotiations, after the Federal Court’s decision regarding the presidential election session and the announcement of the Sadrist bloc not to participate in it, ruling out the achievement of a quorum for the parliament session to choose the president.”

Jawhar adds: “There are deep differences, whether in the Shiite or the Kurdish house, and the National Union adheres to its candidate, Barham Salih, and the objections to the Democratic Party candidate, Hoshyar Zebari, were expressed by many political forces. We believe that Salih’s chances are still there, and he will win in the second round, not the first.”

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