Iraqi President Fuad Masum on Wednesday issued a decree sending all 328 members of the country's Parliament into early retirement. According to the presidential decree, the move is to be implemented by the current parliament speaker and minister of finance. Under the terms of Iraq's constitution, the current Parliament's mandate expired on June 30.
The assembly failed to extend its current term by modifying Iraq's electoral laws to allow MPs to remain in place until a manual recount of parliamentary poll results, now underway, is completed.
The results of the hard-fought May 12 election remain the subject of bitter dispute amid widespread allegations of voter fraud. Once the recount is completed and Iraq's Federal Court approves the new results, incoming members of Parliament will hold a first session to elect a new assembly speaker and two deputies. Within 30 days of the first parliamentary session, the assembly will elect, by a two-thirds majority, the country's next president. The new president will then task the largest bloc in Parliament with drawing up a new government to be referred back to Parliament for approval within 30 days. Earlier this month, Iraq's official electoral commission began recounting the May 12 poll results amid widespread allegations of vote rigging.