ERBIL, Iraqi Kurdistan Region — Mohammed Halbousi, speaker of the Iraqi parliament, gave a rare interview with Al-Monitor in Erbil, the capital of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. "The Arab Sunni community cannot go back to the past,” he said. “The future is now.”
Halbousi, 42, heads Al-Takadum (Progress) Movement, a Sunni political party that holds the largest number of seats (39) in Iraq's 329-seat parliament.
When Iraqi populist cleric Muqtada al-Sadr abruptly withdrew his party’s 73 representatives last fall, Progress went from the second to the top spot.
Progress is also a member of the ruling Coordination Framework political alignment, which is led by a coalition of Shiite parties and also includes the Kurdistan Democratic Party's (KDP) 31 seats.