Parliament preoccupied with the law and disrupt the rest
25-10-2013 | (Voice of Iraq)
Talk | Mustafa Habib | Baghdad |
Of the paradoxes of the Iraqi parliament he often busy discussing one law, and fails to discuss other bills at the same time, for example, discussions of the deputies on the Law of the legislative elections of 2014 delayed the adoption of a series of important laws.
Since the a busy parliamentary blocs weeks in intensive and difficult negotiations to approve the amendments to the law regulating the upcoming legislative elections scheduled for April of next year, and even today did not succeed in approving the law blocs.
The problem is not confined to the House of Representatives failed to approve this important law, but that package other important laws are far from the eyes of Parliament and placed on the shelves of the parliamentary committees, although some of them not only needs to vote after completed discussions on them.
Among the most prominent of such legislation that Parliament was engaged in discussion with a view to approval are the laws of the parties and the Federal Court and the General Retirement and the Federal Service Council, and the Council of the Federation, but today facing the threat of deportation to the next legislative session.
Bahaa al-Araji, says MP from the bloc "Liberal" affiliated to the Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr's "talk" that "time is running out leaving only a few months until the end of the work of Parliament and may not be enough time for the adoption of important laws Off for months."
He adds, "parliamentary blocs busy weeks ago to discuss election law, 2014 and left the rest of the laws, and today the parliament did not succeed in approving the election law nor in the adoption of other laws."
Article 56 of the Constitution stipulates that "the duration of the electoral session of Parliament four calendar years, starting with the first session held and expire at the end of the fourth year that the new parliament is elected before 45 days from the date of the end of the previous election cycle.
However the resolution voted by the Parliament on the seventh of this month and the judge make the legislative elections on 30 April of the next year, the current Parliament did not remain in front of him only six months to finish its work.
This period is not sufficient to approve all important laws broken, according to previous experiences have proved that the House of Representatives need many months to pass a law and an important one, so how about if was an important set of laws in just six months.
Among the important legislation which was interrupted due to preoccupation with the electoral law, the legislation on the organization of work parties in Iraq, as political blocs seek to organize their work in the law since 2005, to no avail.
It is still the legal basis for the formation of parties based on Resolution No. 97 issued by the U.S. civil administrator Paul Bremer in 2004, despite the recognition of everyone Baksourh.
During the past month, returned the draft law to parliament sessions with claims of parties and political forces, including the Sadrist movement and the Communist Party should be approved before the next election but the law has been postponed again.
Ali says an inch MP from the bloc "citizen" of the "Islamic Supreme Council" (Shiite) for "discussion" that "the law of parties of important laws that regulate the political process in the country, it is unfortunate that we have failed to approve a few weeks ago and may not be approved in the remainder of the work of the parliament. "
Among other laws that disrupted the formation of law "Federation Council" It serves as a Senate comprised of representatives of the Iraqi provinces and its role is complementary to the House of Representatives in accordance with Article 46 of the Constitution.
And confirms former MP Wael Abdul Latif for "discussion" that "the Federation Council is important to strengthen the legislative authority to pass laws well in the country need to be legislation many."
In spite of the Parliamentary Committee of the Regions on the drafting of the project completed the first draft of the law has been discussed in a number of sessions of Parliament in August last year but the differences on it did not allow finding consensus among the major parties for approval.
The law on the formation of the "Federal service", passed by the parliament since March 2009, has failed to Parliament in September last year to vote on its members because of differences in the size of the representation of each block and other disputes about who should Riast, and this council is supposed be independent, than an end to corruption in government employment, but did not deliver quotas.
Draft law regulating the work of the Federal Court is also now in limbo, although the parliamentary blocs busy for months ago lengthy discussions around him without coming out with positive results.
Federal Court under Article 93 of the Constitution is the highest judicial authority in Iraq, and its basic functions monitor the implementation of the Constitution and the separation in disputes between the federal government and local governments, and adjudication of disputes over electoral processes but the other law is still waiting.
Says a member of the legal committee in Parliament MP Abdul Rahman Alloizi for "discussion" The law of the Federal Court is important and must be approved before the next election, which could see the differences on the results and the block Her right to form a government, but doubts that the time remaining life of the parliament enough to do so.
Even if the law of the public pension which was approved by the government in response to the demonstrations broad popular across the country, which took place on 31 August last year to cancel the salaries of deputies and senior officials pensions and earmarked Parliament a number of meetings to discuss it with a view to adoption did not see the light until today and the reason, according to deputies is a preoccupation with the law elections.
Phenomenon busy Parliament the issue of one devotes all her time and effort is valid and must be addressed, according to experts and observers of the affair parliamentary and political situation in Iraq, especially that Iraq needs a revolution in the passage of legislation in the country inherited a large group of the laws of the totalitarian regime.
These experts believe that this phenomenon is related to the nature of the composition and affiliations and culture of Representatives who belong to the major parties, which controls the majority of seats during the legislative sessions of Parliament since 2005 until today.
He says a political science professor at the University of Baghdad, Abdul-Jabbar Ahmed said that "lacks Parliament to deal with liberal laws, because the majority of the House of Representatives backgrounds are not of the merchant class and businessmen, but from partisan backgrounds, according to a quota system."
The Dean of the Faculty of Political Science at the University of Mesopotamia Amer Fayad confirms for "discussion" The idea of primitives in parliamentary work and pass laws absent though Iraq lacks political mind to think about the future and is based on the laws lacked the long-term strategic planning. "
«The formation of the government is a difficult task for the Kurdistan parties
25-10-2013 | (Voice of Iraq)
Talk | sinker Beauty | Sulaymaniyah |
Political entities did not recognize the final results of the elections of the Parliament of Kurdistan since been put on several scenarios for the eighth ministerial lineup for the Government of the Territory, vast agree that the government will be extensive and all-inclusive, but the competition and the fate of the election results show that the formation of the government will not be easy.
Results announced by the Electoral Commission on the second of November (October) being revealed that any of the parties winning will not be able to form a government alone with the difficulty of overcoming the Kurdistan Democratic Party, which won the largest number of seats.
Jafar Aimneki Democratic Party spokesman said earlier that the party with the formation of a broad government with the participation of the winning parties, but warned that the Democratic Party would not accept the terms and conditions of any other party.
Can any coalition consisting of half the seats in parliament any (56 seats) to form a government and thus can the Democratic Party and the Patriotic Union of forming the government as it was in the past, but the two parties did not Ihsma commanded after, Union feared that his participation in the government to the loss of a greater number of its votes as it seeks Party Democrats to find a strong partner.
But what makes the task of forming a government more difficult this time is that the MDC has become the second force in parliament, and looks forward to participating in the government and if it does not, it will be collected with the Islamists (40) seats and form a strong opposition in parliament.
Shoresh Haji Member of the Iraqi Council of Representatives on the mass change is said to "talk" we "we have proved that we are the real power in Kurdistan second today and we intend to enter into power in order to implement our reform program within the government."
He stressed that the movement has not taken a final decision on their participation in the government and said, "This is not dependent on us, it is subject to the party, which cost the formation of the government and the willingness to make reform that انتهجناه in our political program is part of the government's program If the party that will form the government is willing to make the program Reformist Movement for Change program in different areas and find a mechanism to implement a timely manner, we will enter in the government. "
And asked the parties and media channels, which monitors the political situation of the Kurdistan region and the election results until today many scenarios for the formation of the next government, most notably is the formation of a broad government with the participation of parties winning, or the formation of the government by the Democratic Party and the Movement for Change forces first and second at (62) seats, or the formation of the government by the Democratic Party and the Patriotic Union of previous كالحكومة where possess (56) seats.
In the opinion of Dr. Burhan Yasin lecturer at the University of Lund in Sweden that to get the number of seats in the elections thing and the ability to work and manage the political game figures something completely different, and says that the formation of the government after the election is difficult because of a radical change in the balance of power in Kurdistan and a change in the Third-party sites.
Dr. Yassin was against the formation of a broad government during the previous elections, but the day has another view is that the political orientation of change witnessed in the recent elections so that Pat talk about the option of taking power by accepting the government extended a good choice after the crash of the equation between the National Union and the Democratic Party.
For his part, does not hide Saadi Ahmed beer politburo member of the Patriotic Union of Preference his party to stay with the Democratic Party and say, "We will be the third group in the next parliament, but the Union is not a political party, only it represents the state oil and hands scientist, institutions and civil society and the diplomatic therefore excluded form any government without him."
Of جهتهما trying two Alasalamaan parties (Islamic Union and the Islamic Group), who were at the front of the opposition for years to form the next government.
Abubaker Ali says a member of the Political Bureau of the Islamic Association "If there is political will on the program of national government, the opposition parties will not reservation to participate.
He adds, "a consensual agreement on a program for the site and the role of government ministries and the whole process of governance will make the government extended the Kurdistan able to serve at this stage."
And excludes Mohammad Hakim spokesman of the Islamic group to accept the Democratic Party, the orientation of the opposition to form a government that believes that formed by the Democratic Party and the Patriotic Union is a strong possibility and says, "I think that the parties to a strong will in the opposition front in the next parliament will not interfere in the government as it can not remain Parliament without opposition. "
Issue of forming a broad-based government with the participation of all parties winning is traded today, more than ever, but does not seem that this prospect will see the light, especially since my forehead government and the opposition entered into deep differences for years, it is not unlikely that constitute the parties الحاكمان government again and keep the opposition out of the game despite the the high number of seats.
Official urges to secure salaries of Peshmerga forces
Thursday, 24 October 2013 21:58
Baghdad (AIN) –The Ministry of Peshmerga within Kurdistan Regional Government announced that the Federal Government did not send the funds of Peshmerga forces to Kurdistan Region till now.
The Ministry of Peshmerga quoted the official spokesperson of Peshmerga General Command, Lieutenant General Jabar al-Yawer, as saying ''The KRG is expected to secure the budget of Peshmerga forces like previous years since the disbursement of Peshmerga salaries was only mentioned in an item within the law project of the Iraqi State budget.''
''There are not any changes or new agreements regarding the salaries of Peshmerga forces between KRG and the Federal Government,'' stressing that ''The Kurdistan Regional Government will provide securing the salaries of Peshmerga forces like pervious years,'' the statement concluded.
MP attributes rise of prices of vegetables to lack of strategy for protecting local products
Thursday, 24 October 2013 15:22
Baghdad (AIN) –MP, Habeeb al-Turfi, attributed the rise of the process of the vegetables to the lack of the strategy of protecting the local products.
Speaking to All Iraq News Agency (AIN), he said "The borders of Iraq are opened to the importation of the agricultural products which resulted in damaging the local agricultural products."
"The variety of the imported products resulted in reducing the prices, but the imported products are limited which resulted in the rise of the process and this is a dangerous issue that needs to have a correct protection to the local products to settle it," he concluded.
Gul receives Zebari, affirms that Turkey stands at same distance from all Iraqi forces
Baghdad (NINA) – Turkey's President, Abdullah Gul, received on Thursday evening, Oct. 24, Foreign Minister, Hoshyar Zebari, and the delegation accompanying him, discussing the relations between Iraq and Turkey, and means to develop them, as well as the situation in the area.
A statement to the press issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that Gul considered Zebari's visit important toward developing the relations between the two countries in all fields; he expressed hope that Iraq would become stable and its political process be successful; asserting that his country stands at equal distance from all Iraqi forces, ethnics and sects.
For his part, Zebari stressed that his visit represents a message of friendship and cooperation from the Government and people of Iraq, aims to normalize bilateral relations and to expand and develop them in all field.
Zebari requested the Turkish President for his country's active participation in supporting Iraq, its democracy and to help stabilize it and its security.
The statement pointed out that the two stressed the necessity for cooperation between the countries of the area so peace and stability prevail in all its countries, as well as to reach peaceful solution to the Syrian crisis.
Foreign Minister, Zebari, arrived of Thursday in Turkey, heading an official delegation, on the invitation of his Turkish counterpart, Ahmet Davutoglu. He is expected to meet with Turkey's Prime Minister, Speaker of Parliament and to hold talks with Davutoglu.
Barham Salih’s frank criticism of his Patriotic Union of Kurdistan’s policies and performance in the Kurdistan Region’s parliamentary elections last month caused an outcry within the PUK and went against the majority of the party leadership.
Salih’s comments appear to have equally agitated Iran, which has strong ties with the PUK and would like to a have a say in who runs the Kurdish party.
So it seems that Salih’s good intentions may create yet more trouble for the PUK and show further cracks within its ranks.
Since PUK leader Jalal Talabani’s hospitalization last year, Iran has been watching the PUK closely. It has warned everyone not to gamble on the PUK’s fall, because the party has thus far served an internal and regional strategic role for Tehran.
Iran’s last recommendation to the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), an ally of the PUK, was to let members of Talabani’s family replace him in the leadership, and that their importance should not be ignored.
However, the failure of Hero Ibrahim Ahmed, Talabani’s wife, in managing PUK’s main bureau in Sulaimani proved that she cannot be in such a position. For this, she resigned and withdrew to the PUK’s political bureau to retain control of the party’s nerve center.
Currently, deputy chief Kosrat Rasul Ali has been appointed as the guardian of the PUK until the next party convention. But he is well aware of his weak influence over most of the PUK’s leadership.
First, neither Ali nor Salih would be able to lead the PUK alone. Both leaders know that Iran does not trust them. That is because one of them is quite close to the KDP and the other one could even join KDP if no option is left to him.
Secondly, both share a deep interest in moving closer to Turkey, a vision that Iran has unsuccessfully tried to sway.
Alongside the other voices which believe that the PUK should be run collectively, there is a strong voice suggesting that Qubad Talabani should replace his father as PUK leader.
Most voices within the PUK leadership have concluded that the current leadership has lost the trust of most PUK supporters and therefore serious change is needed. The solution is to offer something new.
As a young leader and someone whose background is not tarnished by the PUK’s complex political history, Qubad can be defined as the fresh blood needed to enter the list of potential leaders.
Even though he has lived many years in the United States, Iran would still prefer Qubad as the rightful heir to Talabani and can be counted on to rally behind him.
Nearly half-a-million Iraqis have died as a result of the 2003 US-led invasion, according to a new academic study whose figures are more than twice larger than previous estimates which were not as comprehensive.
An estimated 405,000 total deaths were a direct result of the war and an additional 55,805 were attributed to Iraqi refugee deaths as people fled violence in the country according to the study, which was done by US, Canadian and Iraqi researchers and published in a PLOS Medicine journal.
“Approximately a half million deaths in Iraq could be attributable to the war,” the study concludes. “Previous estimates of mortality in Iraq attributable to the 2003 invasion have been heterogeneous and controversial, and none were produced after 2006. The purpose of this research was to estimate direct and indirect deaths attributable to the war in Iraq between 2003 and 2011,” it adds.
The death rate from 2003 to 2011 was “beyond expected rates,” according to the study, and most of the deaths could be blamed on direct violence, while a third could be attributed to “indirect causes (such as from failures of health, sanitation, transportation, communication and other systems),” the journal says.
It adds that gunshots caused 63 percent of violent deaths, car bombs accounted for 12 percent and other explosions 9 percent. Gunshots death were prevalent from March 1, 2003 to December 31, 2008, and dropped “precipitously thereafter,” the journal says.
US-led coalition forces were responsible for 35 percent of violent war-related deaths and militias were responsible for 32 percent; coalition forces were responsible for killing the most women and militia were responsible for most adult male deaths.
The study was conducted in 2011, which gave researchers more access to areas due to the end of the war. But the methodology has been criticized by some social scientists who have been working on the widely contested death toll of the war.
Other organizations have come up with much lower numbers.
For example, the Costs of War Projects estimates that 176,000 to 189,000 Iraqis died in the war, the Iraq Body Count Project estimates 113,000 deaths, the Iraq Family Health estimates 151,000 deaths and the Associated Press estimates a death toll of 111,000.
The Al Jazeera America news organization quoted researchers praising the work, but also criticizing it.
Beth Osborne Daponte of Social Science Consultans told Al Jazeera America, “I can see that over the years in this type of research, they made an attempt to be more rigorous, and that is very good.” But she added that, “There’s a tremendous amount of uncertainty there.”
As studies continue to be released about the death toll of the Iraq war, there still seems to be a great disconnect between public perception of the numbers and actual casualty estimates.
A recent poll commissioned by British Media in July 2013 shows that most Britons believe the death toll was 5,000 or less.
“That figure is so staggeringly, mind-blowingly at odds with reality as to leave a journalist who worked long and hard to bring home the reality of the war speechless,” Alex Thompson, a UK Channel 4 reporter, wrote in May of this year.
Most Americans believe the death toll from the war to be around 10,000.
Will the US and Iran Back Maliki In Iraqi Elections?
By: Ali Mamouri for Al-Monitor
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki declared in a televised speech Oct. 10 both that he would head to the United States at the end of the month and that he intended to run for a third term in upcoming elections. The timing of the announcements was not a coincidence, but rather an attempt to get the foreign support Maliki needs for his candidacy. Meanwhile, objections to his methods of government are multiplying around the country.
Maliki’s second term has seen broad political disputes take place. His actions have been seen as the result of intensive Iranian support coupled with American blessings. It seems that Maliki is counting on persisting Iranian and American support to win a third term as prime minister. However, the course that the Iraqi sociopolitical situation has been taking shows that this support is not in the interest of the United States and Iran, and that it will hurt their national interests in Iraq for the following reasons:
First, the Iraqi people are still new to the democratic system, and they have warned against any attempt to restore dictatorship to the country. There are many obsessions and concerns in this regard, especially since the Iraqi parliament’s attempt to forbid Maliki’s candidacy for a third term was rejected in federal court, which is accused of colluding with the Prime Minister’s Office. Moreover, Maliki’s latest statement noted that his son Ahmad is in charge of major security and political responsibilities for the office. This has stirred the anger of the Iraqi people and of many political leaders, including Maliki’s opponents and some leaders in the Islamic Dawa Party that he represents in the government.
Second, the worsening sectarian crisis in the region is closely linked to the Iraqi situation, which was already delicate. Maliki’s rule reignited the sectarian crisis in Iraq after it had lain dormant for the past few years. Maliki has used controversial methods to remove his opponents from positions of authority, and he has made statements that hold sectarian connotations for his opponents. Moreover, he has failed to carry out the law against sectarian violence in the case of insurgents and those who provoke sectarian strife, such as militias, speakers and activists.
Third, governance in Iraq has shifted from being consensual to being marked by monopolization as a result of Maliki’s inability to cooperate with his political peers. Many Sunni parties that are represented in the Iraqi parliament have stopped dealing with the prime minister. They have also been demanding for more than a year that he be replaced him with someone else from the National Coalition, which holds a parliamentary majority. Furthermore, his allies in the National Coalition are dissatisfied with and object to Maliki’s methods. Those allies include the Al-Ahrar Bloc affiliated with Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr and the Citizens Bloc affiliated with the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq led by Ammar al-Hakim. Together, they constitute a majority in the National Coalition.
In light of this, any attempt to support Maliki for a third term will be understood by the Iraqi people as an aggressive intervention by the United States and Iran, both of which are disliked in Iraqi society. It is also possible that such a scenario could lead to the exacerbation of the sectarian crisis in the region, which would be in the interest of the enemies of Iran and of the United States.
Ali Mamouri is a columnist for Al-Monitor's Iraq Pulse. He is a researcher and writer who specializes in religion as well as a former teacher in Iranian universities and seminaries in Iran and Iraq. He has published several articles related to religious affairs in the two countries and societal transformations and sectarianism in the Middle East.
Mosul, the capital of Ninevah province, has become one of the most important strongholds of al-Qaeda in Iraq. The city’s large area and its borders with Syria and Turkey make it of strategic value to members of the organization fighting in Iraq and Syria. Since establishing themselves in Mosul, al-Qaeda militants have managed to build intricate networks for funding, supplies and mobilization to reinforce their presence and gradually take over the city.
During the past few months, al-Qaeda has managed to multiply its internal funding sources through a broad network of tax collection from large companies, associations, businessmen and owners of small shops in Mosul. It increased the tax imposed on a variety of commercial activities and enforces its tax policies with such “penalties” as murder, abduction and bombing the homes of those who fall behind on payments.
No major or minor commercial activity can be carried out without al-Qaeda taking its share. This ranges from small-scale operations, like selling vegetables, to larger undertakings, such as services and construction projects across the province. According to Mosul residents who spoke to Al-Monitor by phone on condition of anonymity, mobile phone companies have had to pay lump sums to the organization to keep their transmission facilities up and running. Those of one company were bombed when it was late in making payments.
Government forces led by Gen. Mahdi Gharawi, commander of the province’s police, launched a campaign in 2012 against al-Qaeda's funding. Gharawi declared Mosul to be “the main internal funder of terrorist organizations.” Al-Qaeda is thought to take in some $8 million a month from the inhabitants of Mosul, while other estimates put that figure much higher.
The government's effort did not produce a solution to the problem, taking place as it did during a dispute between the provincial administration, which was demanding oversight of security issues, and the central government, which was in charge of security. This disagreement negatively affected the relationship between the locals and Iraqi security forces. On the one hand, the Sunni majority in Mosul considers the state security forces a tool of the Shiite-dominated government and therefore does not trust them. On the other hand, Mosul residents fear al-Qaeda taking revenge on their families or against them personally if they cooperate with the security forces. The organization has sent a number of messages indicating that it does not think twice about retaliating against those who “collaborate” with the government.
In September, al-Qaeda militants bombed the homes of select policemen and army officers to punish them for joining the security forces. The attacks were launched shortly after the federal government announced that it was ready to welcome former army officers from Mosul into its ranks.
Al-Qaeda has benefited from the growing sectarian tensions in Iraq and has adopted tactics to help it gain the trust of Mosul's Sunni inhabitants — such as by preventing sporadic acts of violence, like booby-trapped car explosions — and presents itself as their protector. Furthermore, al-Qaeda has succeeded in taking advantage of events in Syria and the widening rift between Iraqi Sunnis and the Iraqi government to attract followers in a city full of unemployed youth.
By strengthening its organization, broadening its funding and playing off sectarian feelings, the al-Qaeda-affiliated Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) has managed to surpass competing armed groups, among them those affiliated with the Baath Party. In the past few months, the group launched attacks on non-Sunni religious minorities — including the Shabaks, the Shiite Turkmen and the Yazidis — in an attempt to alter the demographics and make Mosul and its environs entirely Sunni. In one of these attacks, it detonated a car bomb at an elementary school in an area inhabited by Shiite Turkmen.
It is difficult to say whether the organization's campaign against minorities is being received positively by most Sunnis in the Mosul area, despite the organization marketing it as revenge against the mistreatment of Sunnis by the Shiite government. It is obvious, however, that a general state of terror has taken hold in the province, leading the majority to prefer to remain in the background, in silence. This applies equally to Ninevah government officials. The media platforms of Gov. Atheel al-Nujaifi lack any statements condemning the acts targeting Mosul's minorities. Some of those with whom Al-Monitor spoke attributed this absence to a fear of clashing with al-Qaeda. Others asserted that the local administration has a relationship with the militants, and that some important local figures must pay taxes to al-Qaeda.
In the absence of a solution to the dispute over powers and the mutual lack of trust between the federal and provincial governments, any effort to confront al-Qaeda’s increasing influence in Mosul will find success elusive.