Iraqi parliament agrees on power sharing framework

Senior political leaders met before parliament's November 13th session. [Stringer Iraq/Reuters]

Senior political leaders met before parliament's November 13th session. [Stringer Iraq/Reuters]

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Iraqi parliamentarians voted to approve the political power sharing agreement proposed by President of the Kurdish region Massoud Barzani.

The initiative supports national political unity, the formation of the National Council for Strategic Policies headed by al-Iraqiyah leader Ayad Allawi, and the rescission of the de-Baathification measures against four senior Iraqiyah leaders.

The vote came at the conclusion of parliament's second session on November 13th before Speaker of Parliament Osama al-Nujaifi decided to adjourn the session for the Eid al-Adha break.

Parliament will reconvene on November 21st.

Mahmoud Othman, a parliamentarian representing the Kurdish bloc, described the approval of the initiative as a "great achievement."

"All political blocs must show diligence and comply with the implementation of all the initiative details in order to establish bridges of trust between them and support the joint efforts for building and reconstructing the country," he told Mawtani.com.

Othman acknowledged that politicians have faced major challenges in the past months.

"However, we eventfully reached a solution and came out of the impasse," he said. "The way is now open for implementing the pledges that we made to the people before the election."

Abd Khedhr al-Tahir, a parliamentarian representing al-Iraqiyah, welcomed the vote to implement the agreement and confirmed his bloc's readiness to actively participate in the next government.

"What has been achieved inspires relief and hope," he told Mawtani. "We in al-Iraqiyah bloc support any national move to lay the foundation of political process and push towards the realization of the principle of collective leadership in governing Iraq."

Al-Tahir congratulated the president, speaker of parliament, and the prime minister.

"We look forward to the birth of a fourth presidency, as represented by the national council, to be a forum that brings together all Iraqi factions and a supporting element in charting the country's policies," al-Tahir said.

Safia al-Suhail, a parliamentarian representing the National Alliance, stressed the need "to unify endeavors that aim to promote the duties assigned to the parliament especially in terms of supporting its oversight role."

"The active participation of well-educated people and women in the next government would give it a strong push to implement its responsibilities towards the people in the best possible way and to meet all of their needs," she said.

Parliamentarian Abbas al-Bayati said politicians sent a clear signal that they were ready to work together.

"The presence of all parliamentary blocs at the parliament session and their agreement to activate their political understandings is a message of unity," he said. "The biggest proof is the desire on the part of everyone to proceed with the course."

At the start of Saturday session, parliament speaker al-Nujaifi delivered a speech in which he placed responsibility on the shoulders of politicians to refrain from hostilities and grudges and work together to eliminate terrorism.

"The next government will operate under a unified political and security decision according to the mechanisms to be approved under the political agreements and government program," he said.

Al-Nujaifi also stressed the importance of "changing the reality for the better and to exert efforts to build a unified Iraq according to the national partnership concept."

During the parliamentary session, a number of lawmakers echoed al-Nujaifi's call for unity and cooperation.

After Eid holidays, several important issues are awaiting Iraqi leaders, including the distribution of ministries and the formation of the National Council for Strategic Policies.

The council must be formed by a law enacted by parliament. Politicians have agreed that the recommendations of the National Council for Strategic Policies shall be binding on the executive authority if more than 80% of its members vote for such recommendations.

Other issues to be resolved include the regulation of parliament committees, the introduction of necessary amendments to parliament's procedural rules, and amendments to the state budget law.

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    البيسوني

    2010-11-27

    The Arab countries need to draft constitutions to protect democracy. The constitution must put down the guidelines of the political regime and the presidential terms, and specify whether the president has the right to run for another term or not. I think that the Iraqi constitution has taken good steps in this direction.

  • 2010-11-18

    These are the members of the parliament chosen by the Iraqi people. They share power and seek only to secure their own interests, not the interests of the Iraqis. This situation repeats itself every four years, because the Iraqi people do not demand their rights or criticize what is going on.