Alkhozai looking with U.S. diplomat Iraqi political developments of events in the region.
Baghdad/ NINA /--Vice President Khodair al-Khozai discussed today with US Undersecretary of State Brett Mkourk the latest developments of the political scene in Iraq and the region as well as Iraq's role in the region.
A statement by Vice President office quoted his assertion that the Arab and regional countries have become understanding the rich and powerful role of Iraq in the region.
Hakeem, McGurk discuss Iraq – US relations
Baghdad (NINA) – Leader of the Supreme Iraqi Islamic Council (SIIC), Ammar al-Hakeem, discussed with the US Assistant Secretary of State for Iraq Affairs, Brett McGurk, the relations between Iraq and the United States.
A statement issued on Thursday, Nov. 21, by Hakeem's Office said that in the meeting the two discussed the relations between Iraq and the US and reviewed Iraq's political scene, as well as political developments in the area.
The statement quoted Hakeem stressing the importance of Iraq's democratic trend, as well as in the area.
US Ambassador to Iraq, Robert Beecroft, attended the meeting
Hundreds demonstrate in Ramadi to protest the "arbitrary arrests"
22-11-2013 | (Voice of Iraq)
Alsumaria News / Anbar
Several hundred residents of Ramadi, on Friday, to protest against the "arbitrary arrests", demanding her arrest and the release of former Iraqi army officers who were arrested during the past period.
The reporter said, "Alsumaria News", in Anbar province, said hundreds of people of Ramadi demonstrated, this morning, at the eastern entrance to the city, demanding to stop arbitrary arrests that are informed of the confidential informant and demand the release of former army officers who were arrested by the forces of Swat.
The correspondent added that the demonstrators cut off the road between Fallujah and Ramadi and charged through slogans and banners they offered the government Baltmay provoking a particular component and repudiation of all obligations and violation of the law.
And announced the coordinating committees of the popular movement in Anbar province, on Thursday, for the closure of all mosques in the province on Friday to protest against the arrests affected the former officers in the army and militants in the popular movement, indicating that the process of closing the mosques will be followed by demonstrations denouncing the arrests.
It is noteworthy that the governorates of Anbar witness, since (25 December 2012), demonstrations and sit-ins in which theologians and tribal leaders and local officials, to demand the release of prisoners and detainees innocent and prosecute "violators of the symptoms of" prisoners, as well as change the course of government.
White bloc calls to endorse Unified Retirment law draft
Friday, 22 November 2013 14:40
Baghdad (AIN)- The White Bloc called the parliament to include the Retirement law in the first session of its new legislative term.
The spokesman of the bloc, Kadhim al-Shammari stated in a press statement received by All Iraq News Agency "The 1st and 2nd readings for the Retirement law have been done, therefore, the vot on its draft has become binding, especially it affects the lives of marginalized Iraqi people."
"The general budget could reach Parliament at any moment which would take most of the attention of the committees and the political blocs will get the same situation of the previous years of discussions, delays and disruptions which will make us forget the important laws such as the Retirement Law."
Yokhana calls Christians to update their voting records
Friday, 22 November 2013 11:10
Baghdad (AIN) –MP, Imad Yokhana, of al-Rafidain bloc urged the Christians to update their voting records to ensure their active participation in the upcoming elections.
He stated to AIN "Updating the records is an important stage because the electoral process involves two processes the first is updating the records of the voters and the second is the voting the process."
"The updating process will add more participants to the electoral process for those whose age qualifies them to participate in these elections," he concluded.
Iranian Delegation in Kurdistan as Parties Discuss New Government
Barzani has been asked by his party, which gained the majority of the votes in the September 21 polls for the Kurdish parliament, to form a government. ERBIL, Kurdistan Region - A high-level Iranian delegation is in the Kurdistan Region to meet with Kurdish political groups, as they hold talks on forming a new government following September elections. “We have seen them and we know they are here,” Bilal Suleiman, a member of the political bureau of the Islamic League (Komal) told Rudaw, adding that his party leaders had met with the Iranians. He refused to divulge when and which Komal leaders had met with the delegation. Komal is believed to have the strongest relations with Iran among all Kurdish parties. Observers believe the arrival of the Iranian delegation in Kurdistan at this time underscores the importance of the autonomous Kurdish region for Iran. Khalil Ibrahim, member of the leadership council of the Islamic Union (Yekgirtu), told Rudaw that his party also had met with the Iranian delegation, as leaders mulls an offer to join the new government. “Meeting the Iranians isn’t a taboo,” said Ibrahim. Nechirvan Barzani, the candidate of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) for the post of prime minister, said at a press conference following a visit with the Islamic Union that he had met the Iranian delegation, too. Barzani has been asked by his party, which gained the majority of the votes in the September 21 polls for the Kurdish parliament, to form a government. He is currently meeting with all political groups on their possible participation in his cabinet. Iran has strong cultural and historical ties with Kurdistan and Tehran maintains relations with Kurdish political groups. It is also Erbil’s second-largest trade partner after Turkey. The Islamic Republic was one of the first countries to open a consulate in Erbil and one in Sulaimani.
Asadi: the year is marginalized and Najafi move away from sectarian remarks
22-11-2013 | (Voice of Iraq)
Alsumaria News / Baghdad
MP for the coalition of state law, Khalid al-Asadi, on Friday, that all the components in the country take their entitlements under the tracks known, denying the existence of any marginalization of the year or Shiites or Kurds, while calling for politicians and Parliament Speaker Osama Najafi to stay away from statements that raise the issue of sectarianism in the country.
Asadi said in an interview for "Alsumaria News", that "there is a path of balance should be spent in the country, since all the components takes maturity within those tracks known in the country," denying "the existence of any marginalization of whether it is for a year or for the Shiites or the Kurds."
Asadi said that "the issue of sectarianism is originally strained too much," calling on politicians, especially House Speaker Osama Najafi as it represents the legislative authority to "stay away from any statement mosses and raises the issue of sectarianism in the country."
The president of the House of Representatives Osama Najafi, on Thursday (November 21, 2013), that the marginalization of the Sunni component increased during the last period, as he emphasized that the sons of the Shiite component subjected to discrimination party.
It is noteworthy that Najafi was considered, in October 2011, during a meeting with the channel, "BBC," the British during a visit to the British capital London, that Iraq's Sunnis feel they are second-class citizens, and expected to demand the establishment of geographic regions, as he emphasized that the conflict between Iran and Saudi Arabia affects the sectarian tension in Iraq.
The Iraqi Justice Ministry announced on Oct. 27 that it had sent a copy of a draft law on Jaafari (Shiite) jurisprudence and personal status to the cabinet for approval and referral to the Council of Representatives for passage. The draft law stipulates that Iraqi Shiites would refer to Islamic Sharia, and specifically principles of Jaafari jurisprudence, for personal status issues — which include marriage and divorce, as well as issues of inheritance and adoption. (Jaafari comes from the name of Imam Jaafar al-Sadiq, the founder of the Jaafari school of jurisprudence and the sixth Shiite imam.) The pending legislation threatens to further divide Iraqi society on the basis of sectarianism and ethnicity and violate women's and children's rights, including potentially making the latter susceptible to sexual abuse through child marriage.
The proposed law includes 254 items, all based on jurisprudence that may vary based on the different views and interpretations of Shiite religious authorities. This law is expected to encourage other sects to develop similar legislation, since Iraqi sects are entitled to have their own courts and laws to regulate their religious affairs and communities. This portends the fragmentation and division of society into separate components under different laws based on religious provisions rather than universal civil rules.
Advocates of the draft law cite personal freedoms as an argument for its approval, including the freedom of religion. Such a rationale seems to be somewhat spurious, however, given that there are currently no objections among the clergy of the various sects and religions to the current conduct of religion-based rituals, such as those governing marriage and divorce. Judges legally acknowledge all kinds of marriage contracts applied for by the different Islamic sects and religious minorities.
On the other hand, the draft law has sparked fears among Iraqis because it includes numerous violations of human rights, especially in the area of women’s and children’s rights. For example, Article 16 contravenes child protections set out in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which Iraq ratified in 1994. The article allows females to marry from the age of 9 and males at 15. Moreover, according to this article, a judge can legally marry a couple below these ages with the consent of their guardians, father or grandfather. Under Iraq's current Personal Status Law (1959), the legal age of marriage is 18 for both men and women. Therefore, should the draft law be approved, it would legalize child marriage and increase minors' vulnerability to sex trafficking.
According to Article 17 of the Personal Status Law, a Muslim male is allowed to marry a non-Muslim female without conditions or restrictions. Article 63 of the proposed Jaafari draft law, however, prevents Muslim males from permanently marrying non-Muslim females. They are only permitted to do so temporarily, that is, for sexual pleasure. In other words, the proposed law forbids interreligious marriage, which still continues despite the difficulty of such situations and the emigration of religious minorities from Iraq.
Article 104 of the draft legislation permits unconditional polygamy and provides suggestions on how a husband should allocate his time among his wives. In the case of four wives, the husband should sleep at the home of each woman one night each week. In the case of three wives, the husband should sleep at the home of each wife for one night and then choose which wife to spend additional nights with.
Such practices clearly contravene Iraqi laws currently in force, which forbid marrying more than one woman without the permission of a judge, and then only under certain conditions. Anyone violating this provision is subject to a prison sentence and a fine.
Under Article 101 of the draft law, men have the right to have sex with their wives any time they want, and wives cannot leave their marital house without their husband’s permission. This means that women, as wives under this law, would be reduced to objects of sexual pleasure whenever a husband desires and without regard to her wishes or state of mind. According to legal experts and social workers, under the second article of the Universal Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women, such behavior would constitute rape. Meanwhile, Article 25 of the Personal Status Law allows a woman to disobey her husband if he behaves tyrannically and harms her by failing to provide adequate housing or care should she fall ill.
Further decreeing women as mere tools for pleasure is Article 126, which states that husbands are not required to pay financial support (nafaqah) when a wife is either a minor or a senior and hence unable to sexually satisfy them.
There are fears that passage of the draft law may pave the way for future laws involving such penalties as stoning and mutilation, along with other forms of corporal punishment that violate human rights. The way things are going, Iraq, a country with an array of ethnic groups and nationalities, might ultimately shred its judicial system and divide its society into blocs lacking a common legal framework, which runs contrary to the concept of citizenship altogether.
Muhannad Al-Ghazi is a Baghdad-based activist in the fields of human rights and public freedoms in Iraq who has published numerous articles on these topics.
United: Najafi would run in Nineveh and not Baghdad
12:37:22 / 11/2013
Announced a coalition united, led by Iraqi Parliament Speaker Osama al-Nujaifi, that Najafi will play the upcoming parliamentary elections as a candidate in the Nineveh province, not Baghdad.
The MP said Nabil are united Hrbo told (Khandan) that "the statements that talk about that Najafi would run in Baghdad, is incorrect, because he was the son of Nineveh province and will run for election in his province."
He explained that Hrbo "united coalition is open to the political blocs to alliance with them to contest the election, and has no red lines, and programs working to improve the Iraqi reality."
The list united had chosen during a meeting in the city of Arbil earlier, Rafie al-Issawi, a deputy head of the list, with renewed choose Osama Najafi head of the list.
Kurdistan Parties Ease Tensions over Sulaimani Governor
“All of us, including Gorran, have agreed to prevent any moves that may unsettle the security and stability of Sulaimani,”
SULAIMANI, Kurdistan Region – A provincial council meeting on Wednesday seems to have saved the day for Sulaimani governor Bahroz Hamasalih, after political parties bickering to have him removed agreed to hold off until after a new government has been formed. Hoshyar Sidiq told Rudaw that all groups in the council had agreed to let Hamasalih stay in his post for the time being. “We all agreed to pass this stage peacefully at the provincial council and hope that the new government will solve the issue of the governor’s post through dialogue with all political groups,” said Sidiq. The post of the governor has stirred heated debate among political groups since the September 21 elections for the autonomous Kurdistan Region’s own parliament, in which the Kurdistan Democratic Party retained its majority but the number-two Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) lost its place to the rival and opposition Change Movement (Gorran). The Kurdistan Region has not held provincial elections since 2005 and many political groups, particularly Gorran and its opposition allies, believe that several administrative posts are not legal. Gorran’s call for the removal of Hamsalih, who is a member of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), escalated to the point where Kurdistan Region President Massoud Barzani had to step in and declare that only elections can decide the removal of the governor. Barzani this week called on the incumbent Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani of the KDP to begin talks with other parties on forming the new government. Gorran argues that Hamasalih has to be removed because he is not legally instated in his post. “We insist that the governor should be removed because he is there illegally and he is only acting governor,” says Dana Abdulkarim, head of Gorran representatives in the provincial council. But after Wednesday’s meeting, even Gorran appeared to agree that the tensions caused over the issue must be eased before they get out of control. “All of us, including Gorran, have agreed to prevent any moves that may unsettle the security and stability of Sulaimani,” said Sidiq. It was reported last week that senior PUK leaders had agreed with Gorran leader Nawshirwan Mustafa to give the governor’s post to a Gorran candidate. However, an official source told Rudaw that Qadir Haji Ali, the Gorran candidate, had not agreed to take the post, despite Mustafa’s approval.