By John Lee.
- Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi agrees to resign, asking political blocs to agree on an acceptable alternative to prevent a constitutional void
- President Salih agrees to snap elections, following new electoral law
- Electoral Commission to be replaced with fully independent Commission by judges and legal experts
The following announcement was made on the President’s official website:
President Salih confirmed that he would approve early elections by adopting to the new electoral Law and a new Electoral Commission.
Addressing the Iraqis People on Thursday evening, president Salih said that, “The Prime Minister had agreed to resign, asking political blocs to agree on an acceptable alternative, taking into their considerations the constitutional and legal contexts that would prevent a constitutional void.”
The President added that,” I personally continue deliberations and meetings with various political blocs, forces and popular activities, in order to bring about the desired reforms, within constitutional and legal contexts, in a way that preserves Iraq’s stability, protects public security and enhances higher national interests.”
His Excellency Salih indicated that, the demands of the Iraqi people have put us at stake. In dire situations, difficulties and hardships honest, loyal persons and the genuine patriots’ men appear to do something good for their country and people as well. The status quo is certainly unsustainable. We really need significant changes that must be made, he highlighted.
The President stressed that, rapid action is required to be taken under the legal responsibility to hold offenders accountable and those who use excessive violence against protestors in the recent violence therefore those should be brought to stand trial. Their cases should be settled with high responsibility. We have to work with great care to prevent any attempt to breach security. There is a need to embark the effective implementation of the principle of improving regulation of weapons in the country by the State alone, not by outlaw actors, he noted.
The following is the text of President Salih’s speech.
O Brothers, Sons in the Squares of demonstrations, Dears members of our Security forces and O great Iraqis,
Peace, mercy and blessings of Allah be upon all of you.
At this critical juncture, while I am addressing you, I embark my direct speech to being by reiterating once again my bias towards you with my feelings, emotions, efforts, and with all I have role, power, which I have drawn from you.
O Youth of Iraq, you are our hopes, awakening, a clear conscience and the high national voice that only through you, we can affirm our national glory as we will face the challenges and fight corruption. We can stand together to prevent those want to harm Iraqis.
We are with you in your peaceful demonstrations, your legitimate demands, redressing justice, combating corruption and with you to improve neglected and marginalized sectors. We are with you while you are carrying Iraqi flags and banners highly so as the homeland will remain for all Iraqis and that your demonstrations will be the wall of the homeland and its impenetrable fence.
We are with your peaceful demonstrations as we are against any oppression and assaulting.
I direct my speech for you and security forces who are your brothers. They are you, and you are them. You are not two opposing teams. You express your demands while they keep you and maintain security, order, and the security of our country and our people as well.
Support the security forces is our responsibility. It would be in everyone’s interest for the demonstrators to succeed in freely and peacefully expressing their demands, and for our security forces to succeed in keeping the public security and preventing those who might be tempted to penetrate and abuse demonstrations.
This brotherhood among the demonstrators and the army and security forces, helped to turn these large demonstrations into great celebrations of Iraqi patriotism and the rise of national flags and national anthem in the streets and squares with the determination of millions of young people.
This was achieved by the will of the noble families in Baghdad and the governorates that participated and embodied the deep meanings of the people’s unity in the most brilliant images of unity, fraternity and solidarity.
Together, we can maintain public security and public and private property, and the homeland as well.
There is no security solution. The suppression of demonstrations is disallowed. The use of force and violence is rejected.
The solution lies in reforms. The solution is that everyone has to come together in order to keep public security and to face criminals who want to harm Iraq.
as I speak about the relationship of the demonstrators with the security forces, I refer to the important points that were addressed by Marjaiya last Friday and its weight the current historical moment for our country and our people.
O free people of Iraq,
History teaches us that the voice of the people is stronger than any vote, the will of the people is the best, and the future of Iraq is our goal to be a bright and prosperous future.
The government is demanded to be a government of the people as has been guaranteed by constitution, and required by Iraqis’ sacrifices.
What is required is swift action by legal responsibility so that those offenders as well as those who used excessive violence recently against protestors must be brought to stand trial. These cases shall be filed to the court to be settled as soon as possible. Working with great care and caution to prevent any attempt to breach security is also needed.
In these circumstances, the importance of the weapon being in the hands of the State is confirmed once again. We expect double action by the government and its institutions to embark the effective implementation of the principle of improving state regulation of weapons in the country by the State alone, not by outlaw entities. We have only one way to maintain security and keep our people safe by that the monopoly over arms will be with the state. This will help us to control security and avoid infighting and among armed groups whenever these groups disagreed on their issues.
At this juncture, an extraordinary work of Parliament is necessary. The parliament, which is the voice of the people and its national representative base, should be the first to address the demands of the demonstrators, and these demands should be implemented legislatively and overseen them. Defaulting and corrupt officials must be brought to stand trial.
We confirm that the files on corruption have been brought to justice to be determined in accordance with applicable laws and provisions. This subject is sensitive as it has a high priority. We have to deal with the grand corruption cases with absolute transparency and loyalty to the law and public rights.
We hope for a joint work between the Legislative and Executive Authorities that goes beyond routine frameworks and helps to re-bridge the gap between the government and the people.
I would like to point out that we have already embarked on a continuous work for a new convincing Electoral Law addressing the problems of the former law, allowing more just and more representative elections to the interests of the people, including the right to run for youth, protecting the votes of the electorate and preventing fraud. The Electoral Commission will be replaced by fully independent Commission by judges and legal experts.
This Commission will be far from politicization and partisan quota. It parts and departments will be reconstructed professionally without taking into consideration the politicization and partisan quota.
Next week, we expect to present the Bill, which we are working cooperatively with the Departments of Presidency and a Number of competent and independent experts in addition to the United Nations experts.
We are also at the Presidency started to sponsor a national dialogue to work for addressing the structural shortcomings in the system of government according to constitutional and democratic contexts, that meet the Iraqis’ demands to a have a good government which goes beyond the past experience.
We are helped in this mission by a selection of competent and independent experts and jurists.
I would like to stress that as the President I will agree to snap elections by adopting a new election law and new Electoral Commission.
The legitimacy of governance can only come from the people.
O dear Iraqis people,
The Prime Minister had agreed to resign, asking political blocs to agree on an acceptable alternative, taking into their considerations the constitutional and legal contexts that would prevent a constitutional void.
I personally continue deliberations and meetings with various blocs, powers and popular activities, in order to bring about the desired reforms, within constitutional and legal contexts, in a way that preserves Iraq’s stability, protects public security and promotes higher national interests.
The status quo is certainly unsustainable. We really need significant changes that must be made.
The demands of the Iraqi people have put us at stake. In dire situations, difficulties and hardships honest, loyal persons and the genuine patriots’ men appear to do something good for their country and people as well.
They appear to make the ordeal and hardness a means of advancements and progress. We need to take advantage of these conditions, to prevent the rush as well as relapsing back into conflict.
Whether we are a government, a parliament or a popular activity, the responsibility is the duty of all of us to protect the nation from the futility and the bad intentions of those who do not want us to get rid of corruption, so I call upon you and ourselves to protect our homeland and keep peaceful demonstrations so that we can all achieve legitimate demands and promote a healthy Iraq.
I am with you, and I will stay with you, and I will do my utmost to implement people’s demands. I am following with exceptional interest the investigation into cases of demonstration’s martyrs and the wounded. My heart and my deepest feelings with their gracious families, those who deserve all the justice and State’s appreciation.
There is no favor to everyone for this fairness. It’s our responsibility. Otherwise, there is no good in any post held by a senior or high official if it can’t serve people, address poverty, bring justice, maintain country and pay tribute to the people.
Indeed, Iraq deserves our serious consideration and a lot of our interesting.
Let the peace, democracy, security, progress, rising and dignity of Iraqis be a goal that unites all of us.
God save you.
Through you, Iraq will be maintained.
(Sources: Govt of Iraq, Presidency of Iraq)