Kurdistan threatens to follow all legal avenues to get 17% of the budget in 2014
26-11-2013 | (Voice of Iraq)
BAGHDAD - Conference
Threatened the Kurdistan Regional Government, the Federal Government, on Monday, in Baghdad that it will follow all legal avenues to get 17% of the Iraqi budget, which it considers a legal right constitutionally to her, criticizing the proportion of the 11% allocated to them in the budget of 2014. Said the spokesman of the Kurdistan Regional Government Sven Dzia in a statement to the provincial government, seen by "Congress" that "in the time that should be allocated 17% of the budget of the Iraqi Kurdistan region, we see in the budget in 2014 that Iraq gives the percentage of less than 11% of the territory", criticizing the "policies of the Iraqi government regarding distribution the general budget. " "The budget for Iraq in 1014 which is estimated at 175 trillion dinars, only 18 trillion dinars from the budget allocated to the Kurdistan region, which amounts to less than 11%", citing the reasons for reducing the proportion of the province of the Iraqi budget to "the annual increase in expenses sovereign government Iraqi. " He Dzia that "the Kurdistan Regional Government has the right to see the follow all legal avenues to get 17% of the Iraqi budget, which is really legally and constitutionally to the Kurdistan region."
Iraqi presidency enables Parliament election law legislation to cut the road in front of the appeal
26-11-2013 | (Voice of Iraq)
Baghdad: Hamza Mustafa
Iraqi presidency passed to parliament yesterday the right to vote on a proposed election law, without reference to the presidency or the prime minister and has thus cut off the road in front of the possibility to challenge the law that legitimized Parliament two weeks ago after a long debate. He said Iraqi Vice President Khodair al in a statement that «Since the (proposed) law is (the idea) on according to the opinion of the Federal Supreme Court in a lot of decisions, it should refer the idea to one side Mahddtan in the first item of Article 60 of the Constitution, namely : President of the Republic and the Council of Ministers, and what were the decisions of the Federal Supreme Court are final and binding for all authorities under Article 94 of the Constitution and what is not abide by an item of the Constitution to send the proposal to the President of the Republic, the Council of Ministers to make that idea as a bill by one of the two mentioned, and to avoid possibilities to challenge the proposal (elections Iraqi Council of Representatives) in the case of the appeal before the Federal Supreme Court in the future, the presidency and after consultation with the views of experts Constitution, law authorizes you to permit the procedure that you have done the legislation of the Act without reference to us or to the Council of Ministers ». The vice president of Iraq said in the statement that he hoped that «this is the last action in order to preserve the credibility and reputation of the House of Representatives who cherish it and take care of all of us». In this context, the member of the legal committee in the Iraqi parliament nice Mustafa told «Middle East» that «the action taken by the presidency good in principle because it would strengthen the position of the parliament in front of the Federal Court and significantly reduces the likelihood of appeal law». According to Mustafa, «It is not the prerogative of the presidency to give authority to the new Parliament or withdraw the validity of it as it was originally entitled to Parliament in accordance with Article 60 and the proposal of the ten members to propose bills» contending that the decision by the Federal Court to propose laws of prime minister was a hasty decision. Mustafa called on the Federal Court to «take this new situation into consideration of the presidency from the premise that fateful election law».
Meanwhile called Speaker Osama Najafi citizens to update their records electoral prelude to participate in the upcoming parliamentary elections. A statement from the Office of Najafi that «despite the difficult conditions and harsh experienced by Iraq, and suffered his people during the past period, which resulted in the results and in a gradual and a result of poor handling of events to the deterioration of the ground service, security and a clear threat to the social structure of the people with a dearth of solutions on the level political and government, the Parliament Speaker Osama Najafi calls on the Iraqi people invited to update their record purely electoral ». The statement added, «also called Najafi to prepare to contest the election as an essential foundation of the pillars of democracy, and an important choice in front of the people to bring about the desired change and the heart of the current reality if they wish, and to create conditions and new data gives hope for a prosperous future puts people to built the core by his choice and his decision in this election himself ». He pointed out that «the practice of democracy is your choice only your path Salek to restore stability and tranquility to throughout our country, which is the only mechanism that you can from which the exclusion of the corrupt and thieves and incompetents, and replace them with those who you deem worthy of your service and the service of society and the nation».
Barzani is heading today to Ankara and then to Baghdad
26-11-2013 | (Voice of Iraq)
Erbil: Muhammad Zangana
Barzani heads the Kurdistan RegionaBl Government of Iraq, to Ankara today for the purpose of completing the last touches on the project pipeline from the region and Turkey, where he is expected to begin work this pipe before the end of this year.
The Sven Dzia spokesman for the Kurdistan Regional Government of Iraq to «visit Barzani to Turkey come within the framework of the improvement of relations between the region and Turkey, especially after the recent visit of the President of the Region (Massoud Barzani) to the city of Diyarbakir and the recent visit of Barzani to Ankara and met with officials of the Turkish government». He Dzia told «Middle East» that Barzani will discuss «bilateral relations between Turkey and the region, which emphasizes on the functioning of the government is always better, especially after signs of improvement in relations between Baghdad and Ankara».
And between Dzia that «the federal government must have the support and supports the improvement of relations between the two parties for the good and the stability of Iraq in general».
As explained by the official spokesman of the Government of the Territory that the issue of extending the oil pipeline between Turkey and the region and export of oil «Another important point will be discussed by Barzani with Turkish officials».
After returning from Turkey, will go head of the outgoing government to Baghdad for the purpose of discussing with the officials in the Iraqi government about what the findings of the subcommittees problem after meeting President of the Region with the Iraqi prime minister in Erbil and Baghdad, and agreed to address the outstanding issues between the two parties.
Dzia said: «The next stop will be the prime minister of Baghdad where he will meet with the Prime Minister and the government officials, to discuss the work of the joint committees that emerged in the meetings of the regional president and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki». He acknowledged Dzia tense relations between the central government and the region, but said: «it is necessary to find a solution end all these tensions, was the visit of Prime Minister of the Territory of Baghdad, which was followed by the visit of Prime Minister Maliki to Erbil, to travel then head of the Kurdistan region to Baghdad, a significant impact on ease tensions between the two sides ».
The Dzia that Barzani «will be presented to the Iraqi government for clarification on the draft oil pipeline that extends between the province and Baghdad», is expected to emphasize that «this project will be of great benefit to the region and Iraq, in general, and this project will be implemented to abide by the Iraqi constitution and federal laws», hoping that «the federal government and after hearing the explanations Barzani in a position to support the project does not stand against him».
Report: Activity rate Parliament one hour a day .. The differences blocs hinder the resolution of 100 pieces of legislation
26-11-2013 | (Voice of Iraq)
BAGHDAD / Mohammad Sabah
MPs revealed, on Monday, the presence of more than 50 law waiting to vote in the remaining period of the age of the House of Representatives, Aazin to the differences of the political blocs around or need some technical adjustments to. They expected to be 4 to pass important laws, including the federal budget and the consolidated retirement in addition to the legal parties and the Federation Council.
In addition, a report said that the 100 project and the proposed law was read and did not reach the stage of admitting, revealing a decline in performance of the Legislative Parliament about 68% in 2013. The report considered that the House failed in both functions of legislative, regulatory, and said that the total number of hours of meetings of the Council its current session amounted to 948 hours with an average of 26 hours per month and less than one hour per day.
And called on the religious authority in Karbala, Ahmed Safi, last Friday, the House of Representatives to speed up the passing of laws broken, stressing the need to seek the government's implementation of service projects properly.
The House of Representatives went into recess after the last legislative vote on the electoral law, which has seen a sharp parliamentary debate. The Parliament is expected to hold an emergency session Thursday to discuss the file of floods and recent rains.
The report, issued by the Center for information on follow-up activity of the House, that "there are 100 projects or proposed law was read and did not reach the stage of voting and accounted for 33% of the laws that have been read a first reading," pointing to "a steady decline in the number of projects and proposals that have been read during the years 2012 and 2013, compared with its issue in 2011 and 36% in 2012 and 68% in 2013. " He said the report, which examined the "long" a copy of which was his declaration in a symposium last Saturday, saying that "the total number of hours of meetings of the Council its current session of 2010.948 hours, calculates the average time of session 24 hours, ranging times of the meeting between 3 -4 hours in most cases, the calculation was based on 4 hours of the session and that means a monthly average of 26.3 hours and less than one hour a day. "
The report considered that the House of Representatives' failure in the legislation of any of the laws that have a role in building the state as provided for in the Constitution, such as legal Federation Council, oil and gas, "adding that he also" failed to perform its oversight role over the executive authority and was often a lack of cooperation latter is the reason why This failure. "
Commenting on it, said Rep. Hassoun Fatlawi, a member of the legal committee, said that "the remaining period of the age of the House of Representatives will not be enough only to legal regulation of political parties and the Unified Retirement after the agreement of the political blocs in addition to the federal budget law for the year 2014."
He guessed Fatlawi, in an interview for the "long" yesterday, that "has been reached in this period residual life of the parliament to pass a law that an agreement on the Council of the Union."
He noted a member of the Legal Committee that "many of the laws are ready to vote, but political differences prevent the inclusion on the agenda of the House of Representatives," noting that among these laws "consolidated bill retirement, and a draft law amending the Law on Judicial Organization No. (160) for the year , 1979, and a bill of universities and community colleges, and the bill modulated bill and the Ministry of Transport and the bill of the National Informatics ".
To that revealed MP Janan Albraism, other member of the Legal Committee, for "there are some laws that went into its final phase after its presentation to read the first and second," asserting that these laws are "ready to vote postponed either because of political differences or because of the need for amendments to the relevant committees ".
She drew Albraism, "long", that "the Presidency of the Parliament include all the laws of the vote in the event of reaching the heads of political blocs on the agreement in order to be passed," and noted that "there are more than 50 bill intended to vote but are disabled because of political differences," adding that "among the oil and gas law and the draft law on the National Commission for Informatics and draft Law on Freedom of expression and assembly and peaceful protest and bill the Iraqi media and a draft law banning the Baath Party and the dissolved entities, parties and activities of racism and terror and incitements in addition to the project legal parties, communications and informatics and the proposed Law on the Council Union and the Federal Court Act. "
She Albraism that among the "ready-made and broken the laws of the reasons may be technical is the law of labor and social security."
He attributed this to the Attorney Omar al-Jubouri delay in adoption of some ready-made laws to the heads of political blocs. Jubouri said that "the heads of political blocs blocked approval of a lot of laws, including the Law on political parties and the Federation Council, despite the completion of the second read them long ago." He predicted that the "law of parties will be approved in the remaining period of the age of the House of Representatives."
The experience of the last 10 years has taught Iraqis that their country has become a failed state, because political entrepreneurs have gambled with the future of the country. In September, the San Francisco Chronicle interviewed Iraq’s new ambassador to the United States, Loqman Faily, and described how Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki had “yanked him from his position as ambassador to Japan and sent him to America a few months ago to carry the message: We need help with governance.” No doubt, the Americans are crucially needed to rescue Iraq from collapse at the hands of the Islamist entrepreneurs. Faily stated that Iraq was “sitting on billions of barrels of oil. But no one has clean water.” He stated in no certain terms that daily life in Iraq is deteriorating, lacking in clean water, a workable budget, modern technology and efforts to fight corruption. Based on Mr Faily’s statements, I had thought that Baghdad’s Islamist rulers had finally realized their failures, and were looking to America for help. But then, when Maliki visited Washington earlier this month, he reportedly asked for more weapons, instead of help with things like water and electricity. This is a dysfunctional government with no real military capabilities. More than 10 years since the 2003 fall of Saddam Hussein’s dictatorship, the Shiite Islamists in Baghdad have failed to govern, while the Kurds have succeeded in carving out an autonomous and historic safe haven for themselves in the midst of Iraq’s sea of violence. These are parallel tales of failure and success. Iraq’s vast oil wealth means nothing without workable planning and suitable laws. Last year, Iraq’s per capita income climbed to $6,300, up from just $1,300 in 2004. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) expects the Iraqi economy to grow by nine percent this year. The astounding paradox is that 25 percent of the population is under the poverty line. In other words, even a wealthy nation can be turned into a disaster in the hands of the wrong people. *The author is an independent Iraqi researcher and former editor-in-chief of the Foreign Culture Magazine in Baghdad.
Mladenov urges UNSC to condemn recent terrorist attacks in Iraq
Tuesday, 26 November 2013 11:23
Baghdad (AIN) -The conflict in Syria is helping fuel terrorism and sectarian tensions in neighboring Iraq, enabling groups like al-Qaeda to forge links with similar factions across the border, the U.N. envoy to Iraq said Monday.
Nickolay Mladenov told the U.N. Security Council that resolving the Syrian crisis and adopting a regional strategy against all forms of religious or sectarian extremism "are vital to bringing stability to Iraq."
"Today, more than ever, Iraq's challenges cannot be considered in isolation from the broader risks that face the region," he said, noting that more than 202,000 Syrian refugees are registered in Iraq, 98 percent of them in Kurdistan.
Mladenov said deteriorating security in Iraq, compounded by political deadlock, is being exploited by terrorists and armed groups trying to incite sectarian hatred and undermine the government.
"All political, civic and religious leaders that he met in Baghdad, Najaf, Erbil, Anbar and Kirkuk expressed deep concern over the escalating violence, and a growing anxiety that Syria and other outside influences "are fueling the terrorist threat to Iraq," he concluded.
MP: Security Council Condemnation to Terrorism in Iraq And Middle East Should Be Followed by Subsequent Actions
BAGHDAD / NINA / MP for Iraqiya Hurrah coalition, Alia Nassif described the Security Council's condemnation terrorism in Iraq and the Middle East, as "a positive step should be followed by subsequent actions to combat terrorism in the region."
The Information Office of the coalition quoted her as saying today that "The statement issued by the Security Council, which condemned the terrorism in the Middle East, including Iraq, is precedent that happens for the first time, and this is a clear recognition that terrorism in the Middle East is an (international terrorism), therefore international efforts have to combine to eliminate it and drying up its funding."
She added: "Security Council condemnation is not enough, as there are countries produce terrorism and provide money and weapons for it, and the United States knows who are these countries, therefore further proceedings actions should be taken, most important international cooperation in this field."
The UN Security Council condemned in the strongest terms the recent wave of terrorist attacks in Iraq, which resulted in the killings and wounding dozens of civilians.
The Council issued a press statement last night, condemning the attacks, which deliberately targeted locations where there are civilians, including schools and houses of worship, the Council members expressed their deep condolences to the families of the victims and reaffirmed their support for the people and the Government of Iraq, and their strong commitment to the security of Iraq.
Turkey Lawyers Denounce Conditions for Kurdish Prisoners
By Uzay Bulut
ANKARA, Turkey – Prisoners in Turkey’s Kurdish provinces of Van and Mus suffer torture and abuse and their trials are moved to distant cities where they can get no legal support, according to the Diyarbakir Bar Association.
The association’s Prison Commission says that nothing has changed for Kurdish political prisoners in Turkish jails, despite a peace process underway between Ankara and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) to formally end three decades of conflict in which 40,000 people have been killed.
“On 28 October 2013, the prisoners’ personal possessions (like books, diaries and photographs) were seized by force by the prison administration and prosecutor in Mus Prison,” the commission said in a report.
In the meantime, the prisoners were exposed to physical violence, insults, threats and sexual abuse. “As some female prisoners were beaten heavily, they had vaginal bleeding and head traumas,” the report added.
It said that some female prisoners were dragged on the floor by the prison manager and an inmate was pushed down a set of stairs. Seven prisoners were locked in a ventilation unit for hours and other inmates were beaten and abused, but the prison prosecutor who was present at the site did nothing to stop the violence, the report charged.
It added that a prison fire last month was over the seizure of prisoners’ possessions. The blaze was started by prisoners in protest, it said, adding that the prison administration deliberately delayed putting out the fire, and then prevented medical staff from issuing health reports to injured prisoners.
The commission reported another incident of torture and abuse at the Van Prison, where some escaped political prisoners who had escaped from another jail were taken to face physical and psychological abuse. They were also denied a defense in court, it said.
Oyku Cakmak, a lawyer with the Diyarbakir Bar Association, told Rudaw that there had been no change in prisoners’ conditions in Turkey’s Kurdish regions despite the peace process.
“Almost all of the Kurdish political prisoners have been exiled to F-type prisons in western cities in Turkey. That is why Kurds in Turkey, especially the family members of the prisoners, have deep concerns over the process,” he said.
“There has not been a release of prisoners within the context of the process yet. Moreover, dozens of prisoners are still kept in prison even though their prison terms have ended. That means that the Turkish state does not even apply its own law,” Cakmak charged.
Officials at both prisons told Rudaw they were only following the instructions of the justice ministry by transferring prisoners to other jails to reduce overcrowding.
If the peace process is to continue, the government has to release the political prisoners, Zubeyde Teker, head of the Federation for Solidarity with Relatives of Prisoners, told Rudaw.
“Releasing the political prisoners is one of the conditions set by the Kurdish political movement to achieve peace. But the government has not released any political prisoners except for seven sick inmates,” Teker said.
The Mardin branch of the Human Rights Association (IHD) also said in a statement that dozens of political prisoners have been transferred from the Mardin Prison to Tekirdag jail.
Sick political prisoners in Mardin’s E-type prison are kept waiting in handcuffs in cells when they are taken to see a doctor, the IHD said, calling that “torture and maltreatment.”
In the meantime, in comments this week, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan ruled out a possible amnesty for prisoners. “An amnesty will not take place. I have said that many times,” he said.
Erdogan had promised in a speech in Diyarbakır last week that prisons would be emptied and that those in the mountains – a reference to PKK fighters – would be allowed to return to their homes
The proposals of Shiite political Islam groups are likely to face rejection from the Shiite public itself, not to mention the expected negative responses from other ethnic groups and sects in Iraq.
Indifference has marked the most recent stance of Shiite political Islam groups — such as the Sadrist movement, the Islamic Dawa Party and the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq (ISCI) — regarding the draft laws on Shiite personal status and Jaafari jurisprudence. This is not to mention the scathing criticism by Shiite religious authorities of these two draft laws.
The truth of the matter is that Shiites have always swung between two main approaches: The first calls for the formation of an independent Shiite political identity, while the second calls for the establishment of some sort of a secular state and the participation of all parties in building it.
Many historical and contemporary examples can be presented to illustrate the first ideological tendency, starting from the complete withdrawal of Shiites from political participation during the 1920s. This is not to mention Ahmed Chalabi's call to establish the Shiite House group before the fall of the regime of Saddam Hussein. The ISCI has also called for the establishment of a Shiite province in central and southern Iraq.
One of the recent provocative attempts on the part of the advocates of this approach is the two new draft laws regarding Shiite personal status and Jaafari jurisprudence, which appear far removed from the concerns of the Shiite public from all walks of life.
Iraqi Justice Minister Hassan al-Shammari, a Shiite cleric from the Islamic Virtue Party, introduced the two controversial draft laws. He made an appearance in the media and was keen on portraying them as a victory for Shiites after their beliefs have long been absent from Iraqi legislation for decades.
However, all this seemed a sick joke in the eyes of Shiite observers themselves, for these draft laws came six months before Iraqi parliamentary elections, since everyone knows that the political forces have failed to pass more important laws, despite that they have been sitting on the parliament table for many years now. Most important, one should mention the laws on oil, gas, distribution of resources, political parties and protest organizations, among other laws.
In fact, ever since the establishment of the Iraqi state, the majority of Shiites have called for peaceful coexistence within democratic frameworks governing everyone. Shiites have pragmatically dealt with many controversial issues, even those that prejudiced their beliefs to the core. This behavior is quite different from that of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, for example.
All this indicates a new way for Shiite Islam to adapt to the requirements of democratic governance, through which some aspects of political Islam could coexist with what we can call the requirements of secularizing the regime in Iraq, given the country's diversity and plurality.
Ironically, the Shiite public — with all its voters and political, cultural and religious elites — continues to pressure Islamic parties to accept this kind of adaptation.
However, will this approach, which is closest to participatory liberalism within the state, succeed in preserving [the presence of] all these warring ethnic groups in the framework of a coherent Iraq?
Or will the Shiites withdraw and espouse an intimidated and isolated identity given the winds of sectarian tension that are blowing in the Middle East?
The Shiites' vote on the draft laws of personal status and Jaafari jurisprudence will be considered an important indicator regarding this issue.
Ali Taher is an Iraqi doctoral student in social and political science at Baghdad University, specializing in ethnic and nationalist identity.
None of Iraq’s political factions —or officials and others with political, economic or security influence — will truly answer the question: “Have you erred?” Sometimes their response is generalized and clichéd, such as: “Perfection is left to God alone.” This in itself is pure prevarication, because it points to a lack of desire to admit wrong, and precludes any readiness to apologize for mistakes.
Since 2003, Iraq has been on a path strewn with mistakes that have reduced its forward momentum to a crawl filled with pitfalls. Yet, not one official has ever come close to apologizing for errors committed, to a point where the trend has become akin to an institutionalized political tradition.
This article was motivated by the abject failure of Baghdad’s authorities to protect the city from being flooded after only 48 hours of rainfall. Their ready excuse is that the design of the sewer system is unable to cope with rainfall amounts that exceed those prevalent 40 years ago!
Such an example is worthy of study. It is an indicative example of utter failure that reflects a denial of responsibility by city officials who, instead, consign its causes to mistakes committed by past administrations.
Electric power generation has increased in Iraq during the past few months, but transmission grids that transport electricity to homes were built 30 years ago: another ready excuse for the continued daily power outages.
The Iraqi government signs shady deals worth millions of dollars to buy ineffective explosive-detection devices, as well as defective weapon systems and equipment lacking the necessary complementary technologies. In all that, the justification is that “Iraq is passing through exceptional circumstances, and has fallen prey to internal as well as external conspiracies! Furthermore, low-level government employees and politicians have been tried for corruption as a result of those deals.”
Enumerating the mistakes committed would be a never-ending task, yet we never hear the state truly apologize to its people for the daily infractions to the covenant that exists between them.
A prominent politician, who requested anonymity, told Al-Monitor: “The people do not understand the concept of apology, and do not endorse the culture of apologizing. They view apologies as a sign of weakness that destroys the future of any politician.”
The same politician described the current state of affairs in Iraq as “a tacit understanding between rulers and ruled to quietly keep the ball rolling, and endure any missteps or repercussions.”
This is a very harsh characterization, a description that best falls in line with dictatorial thought. Saddam Hussein never apologized, his supporters and members of his regime never apologized, even when some of them were being marched to the hangman’s noose.
The prevalent construct in Iraqi political circles is, “The Iraqi people quickly forget, and are a good-natured people who also quickly forgive!” Truth is that there aren’t any good or bad peoples, for peoples are an amalgam of experiences and laws.
On this basis, Iraqi political elites who say the Iraqi people refuse to forgive past mistakes do not need to talk about forgiving present mistakes.
No one ever apologized for the catastrophes that the Iraqi people have, and still are enduring. For every former or current official possesses a long list of excuses and justifications. Some of the latter go back to Saddam Hussein’s regime, while others necessarily revolve on terrorism, international conspiracies, and internal conflicts. Transgressions are blamed on minions, advisers, and low-ranking — as opposed to senior — employees.
It is a vicious cycle that must be broken. Those who resist taking responsibility must understand that mistakes carry consequences. They must realize that leading a country is predicated upon the possession of the highest levels of awareness, as well as moral and legal responsibility. They must be ready to admit to their wrong and apologize for it, when an apology is all that is required.
Mustafa al-Kadhimi is an Iraqi writer specializing in defense of democracy. He has extensive experience in documenting testimony and archiving documentaries associated with repressive practices.