Govt Now “Illegal” – But Does Anybody Care?

This didn’t happen because as Iraqi political expert Reidar Visser wrote on his website: “When the session resumed, many of the 255 deputies that had been present at the outset failed to show up. What apparently had happened was that Kurds and Sunni Arabs deliberately boycotted … with suggestions that both protested what they saw as a failure by the Shiite alliance to come up with a replacement candidate for Nouri al-Maliki as premier. What was clear, at any rate, was that there was no speaker candidate.”

The session ended after the temporary Speaker of the House agreed with the Shiite Muslim politicians still present at the end as to when the next session of Parliament might be. Concluding the session without a new Speaker was a constitutional violation – it should have gone on until one was chosen.

“It would now be easy to challenge the constitutionality of that first session of Parliament,” says Nasser Jamil, a local legal expert. “It could be considered void,” he told NIQASH. “Although I am sure the politicians won’t contest the session because they themselves approved of the violations and asked the temporary Speaker to conclude the session.”

And there were further violations. The first session of Parliament was attended by 255 MPs out of a total of 328 which means that 73 of them didn’t take an oath of office as is stipulated by Article 50 of the Iraqi Constitution.

Additionally some of the politicians who did take the oath of office are actually still in office. This is a further violation of Article 49 of the Constitution which says that, “it is not permissible to combine membership in [Parliament] with any work or other official position”. Some of the politicians present on July 1 have yet to resign and are still holding their government jobs – this includes Iraq’s Prime Minister, along with several other senior ministers.

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