Iraq's new parliament will convene next week, an official said Tuesday. The June 14 opening of the Council of Representatives comes after Iraq's supreme court ratified the results of the March 7 general election which put ex-premier Iyad Allawi's Iraqiya bloc in the lead, followed by Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's State of Law alliance.
"The president decided that the parliament will meet on Monday, June 14," Nasir al-Ani, head of the Iraqi presidency's office, was quoted as saying by AFP. Once parliament is convened, Iraq's constitution stipulates that MPs must first select a speaker, and then choose a new president.
The president will then call on the leader of the biggest parliamentary bloc to form a government, giving him 30 days to do so.
Iraq's supreme court on June 1 ratified the results of the election, confirming initial figures which showed Iraqiya won 91 seats in the 325-member parliament, followed by State of Law's 89. State of Law and the INA have announced they would form a post-election coalition.
Allawi, however, insisted on Tuesday that his bloc should have the first opportunity to form a government. "Discussions and dialogue that have taken place (with rival blocs) indicate that Iraqiya was the winner," he told reporters in Baghdad."In my estimation, Iraqiya is the one group that can transform Iraq."