The Iraqi federal court rejected on Wednesday a lawsuit filed by Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr’s Sadrist Movement that demanded to dissolve the parliament for its failure to meet the constitutional deadlines to form a new government.
The Federal Supreme Court explained in a statement that the constitution defines its jurisdiction which does not include the dissolution of parliament.
However, “no authority may continue to bypass the constitutional periods indefinitely because this is a violation of the constitution and demolition of the entire political process,” the statement noted.
The parliament must dissolve itself if it is deemed to have not fulfilled its duties in accordance with Article 64 of the constitution, it added.
In mid-August, the Sadrist Movement filed a lawsuit to the federal court demanding the dissolution of the parliament, citing that the constitutional periods of electing a new president and forming a new government had expired about 11 months after the parliamentary elections held on Oct. 10 last year.
According to Article 64 of the constitution, the parliament can be dissolved in two ways: either the parliament dissolves itself by an absolute majority of its 329 members at the request of a third of its members or the request of the prime minister with the approval of the Iraqi president. Since the current prime minister is a caretaker in his post, he has no right to request the dissolution of parliament.
Political tensions in Iraq have escalated in the past weeks between al-Sadr and his rivals in the Shiite Coordination Framework, an umbrella group of Shiite parliamentary parties.
During the past months, the continued disputes among the Iraqi Shiite parties have hampered the formation of a new government, making the parliament unable to elect a new president by a two-thirds majority under the constitution.