Iraqi Parliamentary Attendance Data Are Bogus

November 4, 2011 at 3:29 pm | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment
Tags:

Iraqi Parliamentary Attendance Data Are Bogus

Posted by Reidar Visser on Tuesday, 1 November 2011 18:40

On paper it looks all fine. A record of Iraq’s parliamentary attendance figures is regularly published, along with the names of deputies who are absent from parliamentary sessions. A separate non-governmental organisation keeps track of those numbers and pegs the attendance figure to entries for individual deputies, making it possible to check the attendance of any of the 325 deputies in parliament. The parliamentary bylaws say the parliamentary presidency can issue a written warning to deputies that are absent 5 times in a row or 10 times during the course of the legislative year.
There is only one problem: The numbers are false. A systematic correlation of parliamentary records and attendance information linked to individuals shows that only a fraction of those absent are actually accounted for in the official record. Here is a quick rundown of gross attendance figures and the numbers of absentees actually identified by name for the past months:
Please click on this link:

http://gulfanalysis.wordpress.com/2011/11/01/iraqi-parliamentary-attendance-data-are-bogus/

Date                   Deputies present     Registered absentees      Other absentees

19 June                 165                                3                                               157
29 June                 200                               3                                               122
30 June                175                                2                                                148
2 July                    190                                3                                                132
4 July                    177                                5                                                143
12 July                  174                                4                                                147
16 July                  164                                5                                                156
18 July                  167                                7                                                151
26 July                  181                                3                                                 141
28 July                  245                               11                                                69
30 July                 183                                9                                                 133
1 August               184                                6                                                 135
9 August               164                                5                                                 156
11 August             167                                5                                                 153
13 August            187                                 5                                                 133
14 August            165                                 15                                               145
15 August            164                                 8                                                 153
16 August            227                                6                                                  92
17 August           165                                 5                                                  155
18 August           164                                 6                                                  155
6 September     200                                 7                                                 118
8 September     173                                14                                                 138
10 September   183                                9                                                   133
12 September   181                                12                                                 132
20 September  221                                8                                                    96

A possible explanation for the huge discrepancies can be found in the bylaws, where a distinction is made between “legitimate” absence (apparently for health reasons or if a deputy is on business representing the parliament elsewhere) and other forms of absences. Quite possibly, the absentees identified by name are the few who had such legitimate absences.
The problem, of course, has to do with all the others, non-legitimate – and non-registered – absentees. Just look at the huge numbers! The whole oversight system of checks and balances loses its meaning unless those names get published too. Until they are in the public domain, there is no real transparency in the Iraqi parliament – and it is also more difficult to analyse the political dynamics behind votes in parliament, since voting is usually done anonymously.
 

In short, here is yet another reason why Iraq cannot be considered a model democracy for the emerging “new Middle East”.

http://gulfanalysis.wordpress.com/

Advertisements

Leave a Comment »

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.
Entries and comments feeds.

%d bloggers like this: