Iraqi Constitution Says Iraqi Govt is Now Illegal – But Does Anybody Care?
After last week’s abject failure by the new Iraqi Parliament to achieve anything, the country is now being run by an illegal government operating in a power vacuum. Meanwhile Parliament cannot manage any business and merrily violates the Iraqi Constitution it once wrote, several times, in one single session. And nobody seems to care.
The Iraqi Parliament held its first session after the country’s recent general elections on July 1. The different groups inside Parliament – Iraq’s Sunni and Shiite Muslims, the Iraqi Kurdish and the various smaller ethnic groups – were supposed to agree which politicians would hold the country’s most senior positions. This included the Speaker of Parliament as well as a new President and Prime Minister. But they did not.
Instead there was fighting about budgets and positions and after a recess, many MPs stayed away from the final part of the session. All of this is happening because Iraq’s politicians have grown used to violating their own national Constitution, a Constitution the Parliament itself ratified.
Several articles of the Iraqi Constitution were violated at that July 1 meeting. The first was the failure of MPs to choose a permanent Speaker of the House.
Article 55 of the Constitution says: “The Council of Representatives shall elect in its first session its speaker, then his first deputy and second deputy, by an absolute majority of the total number of the Council members by direct secret ballot”.