Law to Reform Political Financing is Blocked

In Iraq, based on the law that has yet to be enacted, political parties have the right to own real estate to establish their headquarters and branches. Also, according to the same law, the identity of donors should be verified and parties must publish the names of donors in the party’s official newspaper. Donations of physical goods or cash that are intended for illegal gains in favor of the party or the donor are banned.

The parliamentary Legal Committee revealed on Mar. 28, 2011 that the law was handed over to parliament after having been approved by the prime minister. However, it has remained on the shelf without being discussed, due to problems between political parties and objections to many paragraphs, which some parties considered restrictive.

“The law will forbid many parties from funding electoral campaigns through exploiting stolen money from the government,” Abdullah said.

The political parties draft law that was presented to the parliament includes 69 articles. Article 40 allows the administrative court to disband a party if it was proven that the party’s activities were military or semi-military in nature or that it was conducting an activity that threatens the security of the country, the unity of its lands, its sovereignty or its independence.

Commenting on the news that the vote on the political parties law was delayed, Iraqiya List adviser Hani Ashour expressed his concerns regarding blatant mistakes in the political process in Iraq. Ashour, who is also the political adviser for Ayad Allawi, stated, “The political parties law, which has not been ratified for more than 10 years, weakens the democratic process in the country.”

Al-Monitor was able to secure a copy of a press statement made by Ashour in which he stated, “The political parties draft law is at the parliament’s disposal, but it has not been on the parliament’s agenda for a long time.”

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