BAGHDAD: Iraq’s Supreme Court said Sunday it had temporarily suspended Hoshyar Zebari, a frontrunner for the presidency, on the eve of parliament’s vote on the position, citing years-old corruption charges against him.
It was the second blow in 48 hours to Zebari’s presidential drive, and the latest chapter in the war-scarred country’s divisive politics.
The court said it had received a complaint from lawmakers that Zebari’s candidacy was “unconstitutional” because of the graft claims, adding that his suspension was “temporary” while the court considers the case.
Zebari was one of two main contenders for the largely ceremonial post of president, which the 329-member parliament was to vote on on Monday.
The other favoured candidate is the incumbent Barham Saleh. Iraq’s highest judicial body said the complainants consider that Zebari does not fulfil constitutional requirements that the head of state must have “a good reputation and integrity”.