Govt Now "Illegal" – But Does Anybody Care?

And now that Parliament has failed to elect a new Speaker of the House, the Constitution itself is a problem once again. Local legal experts say that its wording is too general and it doesn’t provide any clarification as to what should happen if it is violated – as it was on July 1. Nor does it stipulate what sorts of penalties there might be for violations.

There is a generally acknowledged need for constitutional ambiguities to be amended or to be clarified by new laws – however Iraqi politicians have failed to pass the needed laws or amendments.

On the other hand, political experience in Iraq after 2003 has shown that it is almost impossible to stay true to the time frames that the Constitution demands. Nothing gets done quickly because everything requires lengthy discussions and negotiations between those three biggest components in the Iraqi Parliament – the Shiite and Sunni Muslims and the Iraqi Kurdish – before anything gets done. It is already clear that it is going to take weeks, if not months, to choose the most senior members of the Iraqi Parliament. After elections in 2010, it took seven months before the new government was formed.

Nor does the Iraqi Constitution give politicians any idea how to proceed when the country is in a state of crisis, as it currently is.

Which brings up yet another cause for constitutional concern: The current Iraqi government should have suspended its work while the new government was being formed. And because Parliament has not managed to convene, the current government is actually continuing its work without any constitutional basis. Since March 25, 2014, al-Maliki’s government has been operating without any supervision from the country’s elected representatives. That was the date of the last Parliamentary session before general elections. Basically al-Maliki’s government is operating in a power vacuum, with no checks and balances.

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