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Established in 2006 as a Community of Reality

Welcome to the Neno's Place!

Neno's Place Established in 2006 as a Community of Reality


Neno

I can be reached by phone or text 8am-7pm cst 972-768-9772 or, once joining the board I can be reached by a (PM) Private Message.

Established in 2006 as a Community of Reality

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Established in 2006 as a Community of Reality

Many Topics Including The Oldest Dinar Community. Copyright © 2006-2020


    New Iraqi parliament faces difficult tasks: 200 laws in limbo, 6,000 unfinished projects and...

    Rocky
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    New Iraqi parliament faces difficult tasks: 200 laws in limbo, 6,000 unfinished projects and...   Empty New Iraqi parliament faces difficult tasks: 200 laws in limbo, 6,000 unfinished projects and...

    Post by Rocky Fri 05 Sep 2014, 6:03 pm

    New Iraqi parliament faces difficult tasks: 200 laws in limbo, 6,000 unfinished projects and...  



    09/05/20140 

    Iraq's new Parliament has a lot of unfinished business to deal with.
    BAGHDAD,— As Iraq’s new government slowly evolves into a sitting Parliament, there are hundreds of pieces of legislation that need attention. Some of the most important could help resolve Iraq's looming, and current, economic and security crises. As Iraq’s new government slowly evolves, a formidable task awaits it: There are more than 200 pieces of legislation that need to be tackled, according to the Iraqi Parliament’s own website. Some are on the road to becoming a reality; others have yet to be tabled. Many of them would help to build a better, more peaceful Iraq with a more just distribution of power. And among these are a handful of very important laws that most certainly would make an impact on the current economic and security problems. In particular, the laws that would help ease the tensions that have recently been increasing between the three major religious and ethnic components of Iraqi society, that is, Iraq’s Sunni Muslims, Shiite Muslims and the country’s Kurds. One of the most prominent pieces of legislation awaiting approval is that around the formation of Iraq’s so-called Federation Council. Although the Iraqi version has some significant differences, this body could act in a similar way to the US Senate, the German Bundesrat or the House of Lords in the UK. In a blog post for NL Aid, writer Nasos Mihalakas points out that the Iraqi Constitution encourages Iraq's provinces to become more independent and form their own regions, in a similar way to how the
    semi-autonomous Kurdistan region currently operates. To prevent separatism, conflict or the total disintegration of the nation, another element of government is required, Mihalakas suggests, and this would be the Federation Council.

    Parliament needs to pass this law about the Federation Council quickly because it gives provinces better representation in a smaller council, Kurdish MP Mohammed Kayani, who headed the Regions and Provinces Committee in the previous Parliament, told Niqash. The Federation Council has fewer members – no more than 72 – so provincial voices will get a better hearing, he explains.

    Allowing the formation of the Federation Council and implementing the half-passed Law 21 will solve a lot of the problems that arose between the provinces of Iraq – and their various majority populations – and the central government in Baghdad during the previous government’s rule.

    Getting Law 21 back on track would also mean the return of a much debated law, introduced by Iraq’s former president, Jalal Talabani, in 2012, that redraws provincial borders. On one hand, as Iraqi expert blogger, Joel Wing argues, this law could lead to major problems as provincial councils change and elections need to be reconsidered. On the other, new, set boundaries could solve some of the country’s recent problems - for example, an oil field on the border between the Maysan and Nasiriya has recently been causing tensions.

    Speaking of Iraq’s natural resources, another of the most urgent pieces of legislation involves the country’s long-languishing oil and gas law. Until this has been resolved, there’s no doubt that Iraq’s Kurds,[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] who passed their own version of such a law some time ago and who have been doing oil and gas deals independently of the central government, will continue to butt heads with Baghdad. Issues around oil and gas have been a major cause of what the Iraqi Kurdish have described as a “financial blockade” of their region.

    There are also a number of laws around the country’s security that need to be addressed. This includes further work on amendments to the de-Baathification law. This was originally passed to ensure that those who profited from former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein’s regime, led by his Baath party, were not able to infiltrate the country’s new government and civil service, or to benefit from past misdeeds. However the law has also been deeply divisive on a sectarian level as many of the former Baath party members are Sunni Muslims.

    Alongside this, there is also legislation about a general amnesty for those detained without charge or awaiting trial – again many of these are thought to be Sunni Muslims, or any other individuals that Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki considered enemies – and 2005’s anti-terrorism laws. The latter includes broad definitions of anyone who aids, abets or carries out terrorist acts and again, is thought to have been used to formulate bogus charges against political or sectarian opponents.
     

    “Amending these laws would be much appreciated by Iraq’s Sunni Muslims, who believe that the way the laws are currently formulated, they can be used to target Sunnis,” MP Haider al-Mulla from the mostly-Sunni Muslim Iraqiya bloc, told Niqash. “Iraq’s Sunnis believe these laws are a reason behind the killing and imprisonment of thousands of innocent people.”

    “Working on these laws would be a major step toward real reconciliation between Iraq’s Sunni and Shiite Muslims,” al-Mulla argues. “It is going to help persuade Sunni Muslim militias that this government is serious about reconciliation – unlike the previous government, which betrayed them.”

    On an economic level, Parliament must also pay attention to the national budgets for 2014 and now, 2015. The previous government failed to pass 2014’s budget, delaying thousands of construction, development and other projects right around the country as well as leaving the nation to cope with a growing and dangerous deficit.

    “There are more than 6,000 uncompleted projects because of the delay in approving the last budget,” local economist Basem Antoine notes. “And the ongoing security problems – including fighting with [Sunni Muslim extremist group] the Islamic State – have meant that the government is just using this money anyway, even though it hasn’t been properly allocated.”

    This has had an unforeseen impact on Iraq’s unemployed. Thousands of locals are waiting for budgets to be approved but because they haven’t, the youth have opted to volunteer for work in the security services, army or unofficial militias. Mainly because there are no other jobs – jobs usually created by government-funded projects – elsewhere.

    Another extremely urgent job for Iraq’s new government will be to take a closer look at the Iraqi Constitution. This national document was written in 2005 and many believe it was done too hastily and that there are some flaws that need to be corrected.

    “The Constitution has been creating conflicts rather than helping to resolve them,” says Hassan al-Yasiri, a member of the previous Parliament’s legal committee. “However to make the right amendments we would need a stable political atmosphere.”

    The most contentious points of the Iraqi Constitution involve Article 140, which looks at the disputed territories, Article 115 which looks at the powers of the federal and provincial and regional governments as well as Article 41, which relates to personal status laws.
     

    However there is possibly one task for Iraq’s new Parliament that is more pressing than almost all of the rest of them. Parliament needs to reclaim its vital role inside the Iraqi system of government. MPs are supposed to provide checks and balances to the power wielded by the Iraqi prime Minister and other branches of government. However during Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s government, Parliament’s powers were usurped, taken away or the decisions made by the multi-ethnic, multi-sectarian body were simply ignored.

    Iraq’s Parliament is supposed to appoint various heads of state as well as of the military and the courts and it should have the power to hold all officials to account.

    “But al-Maliki’s government ignored Parliament on more than one occasion,” MP Mohammed al-Mashkour told Niqash.

    So far, so good though: Last month Iraq’s new Parliament managed to elect a Speaker for Parliament and it has also managed to form several temporary committees to deal with urgent issues related to finance and refugees and displaced people.

    By Mustafa Habib, Baghdad - Niqash

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