Rudaw file photo of Iraqi parliament in session.
BAGHDAD, Iraq – The Iraqi parliament failed to meet on Tuesday as planned, and an MP explained that was because 70 of the legislators had decided to on the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca.
“Because 70 MPs have gone on Hajj, we did not check whether or not there was a quorum,” Masoud Haidar, and MP from the Kurdish Change Movement (Gorran) told Rudaw.
The next parliamentary session is scheduled for Thursday, but may not convene if there is no quorum. If that happens, MPs will meet again after the four-day Eid holidays that start Monday.
Iraq, its 328-seat parliament and its politicians have been buffeted by sit-ins and strikes over the past several months, ordered by powerful Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr.
He has led a campaign against corruption, which has already seen the downfall of the former defense minister Khalid al-Obeidi last month, over accusations of widespread graft in Iraq’s multi-billion dollar arms purchases.
At his hearing in parliament, Obeidi accused House Speaker Salim al-Jabouri and other MPs of themselves being corrupt.
Abdul Selam al-Maliki, from the State of Law coalition, told Rudaw that 100 MPs from different factions had finalized a motion to investigate education minister Muhamad Iqbal for “administrative and financial corruption.”
Finance Minister Hoshyar Zebari, who is a Kurd, also faces a possible no-confidence motion in parliament when it convenes.