Mahmoud al-Mashhadani, the Speaker of Iraq’s parliament, announced his resignation today after a chaotic session of debate on whether to free the now legendary shoe-thrower of Baghdad, journalist Muntadar al-Zeidi.
Arguments were reportedly heated, with some MPs calling for Zeidi’s release and others urging parliament to stay out of the controversy. The notoriously hot-tempered Mashhadani was reportedly furious at the shoe-throwing incident as well as pressure from Shi’ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr’s bloc to secure the reporter’s release.
After the Kurdish bloc and some Shi’ite MPs walked out, Mashhadani announced “I end the session and I am resigning.”Whether the resignation was sincere or just an expression of the speaker’s exasperation at the situation is yet to be determined however. One anonymous official in his office said it was “uncertain.”