Preparation for a National Conference between Iraq’s Political Parties stalls

January 20, 2012 at 10:16 am | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment
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Preparation For A National Conference To Resolve Disputes Between Iraq’s Political Parties Stalls

At the end of December 2011,Iraq’s President Jalal Talabani, backed by the United States, called for a national conference of all of Iraq’s ruling political parties to try to resolve their on-going disputes. At first, it seemed like this would happen as planned, but nothing is that easy inIraq. First, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s State of Lawand the National Alliance led by the Sadrists demanded that the meet happen in Baghdad, while the Iraqi National Movement (INM) and the Kurdish Coalition said it should occur in Kurdistan. Then, the INM demanded Vice President Tariq Hashemi’s terrorism case by dealt with at the conference; something that they had previously said should be excluded. Third, Maliki suspended the National Movement ministers that were boycotting the cabinet, escalating tensions once more. Finally, the INM is making empty threats about replacing Maliki, which only exposes their already weakened position. All together, it does not look like the conference will resolve much, as the soap opera of Iraqi politics continues.

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Analysis by Reidar Visser: Constitutional Disintegration

November 20, 2009 at 3:49 am | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment
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Constitutional Disintegration

Posted by Reidar Visser on November 19, 2009


Today’s heated scenes in the Iraqi parliament are symptomatic of a more general tendency towards constitutional chaos in Iraq in the wake of the adoption of the elections law on 8 November and the subsequent veto of it – or parts of it – by Tariq al-Hashemi yesterday. At one point, the Sadrist head of the legal committee triumphantly announced that the federal supreme court had effectively vetoed the veto for being unconstitutional; on closer inspection it turned out matters were not so clear cut and the parliamentary speaker, Ayad al-Samarrai has announced another early-Saturday session on 21 November for the legal committee (and, maybe, the whole assembly) to consider the veto, saying there was no contradiction between the Hashemi veto and the opinion of the court.

The core of the problem here is the strong but not very detailed powers assigned to the temporary tripartite presidency council in the 2005 constitution. The presidency council reviews all legislation submitted by parliament; unless all its members agree to a bill it must be returned to parliament within ten days of receipt. This procedure can be repeated once more, but may then be trumped by a three-fifths majority of the parliament. Beyond the timelines and the general consensus requirement, no other specific procedural details are outlined in the constitution.

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