Sistani warns the government against the arrival of demonstrations in Najaf

 

BAGHDAD – Protests spiraled out of control and threatened the political process and all those involved in it, prompting Shiite cleric Ali al-Sistani to warn that it could reach Najaf and threaten his status as a reference for pro-Iranian parties and guarantor of the continuation of post-2003 Iraq.

This comes at a time when the Iraqi government is implementing a new page of a field plan to empty the Tahrir Square, central Baghdad from the demonstrators, after it has become an icon of the protest movement.

This field plan, aimed at exhausting the protesters, coincides with maneuvers involving major parties to empty the demands of the street from their revolutionary depth.

Iraqi political sources attributed Sistani’s warning that he feared that the next step of the demonstrators, if they did not respond to their demands, led by the reform of the existing political system radically, move to sit-in near his headquarters in the holy city of Najaf, Shiites, according to estimates provided to the Supreme Reference of those close.

The sources said in a statement to the “Arabs” that the protesters sit at the office of Sistani in Najaf, means that they receive full protection from government repression, as it is inconceivable that the security forces to kill protesters near the headquarters of the Shiite Supreme.

The new plan, which came into effect last night, entrusted a special force to pressure the so-called barrier and the Turkish restaurant, which is the front of Tahrir Square overlooking the bridge of the Republic, where the boldest demonstrators, during the hours of the night, which was relatively calm Protesters and riot police exploit him to sleep a little.

The Iraqi government hopes that the new plan will strain the demonstrators, whose numbers are decreasing, with the success of the previous page of the government plan, which is to restore the bridges and squares surrounding the liberation, and open some to passers-by.

This page comes, in the light of informed political sources confirmed that Iraqi parties loyal to Iran, approved an agreement to make formal concessions, including the change of ten ministers in the current government headed by Adel Abdul-Mahdi with others outside the political class and the legislation of a new election law.

But the sources of “Arabs” in the city of Najaf, said that the top Shiite cleric Ali al-Sistani, refused to bless this plan, or ask the demonstrators to withdraw from the yards of protest accordingly.

According to informed sources, the government prevented the Iraqi Ministry of Health from disclosing any toll of victims of the dissolution of protests by security forces in Baghdad and the provinces.

Activists said the reported figure of 320 dead and nearly 15,000 wounded was not accurate. The death toll may have reached 500, with security authorities insisting on using excessive violence to disperse protesters.

It seems that the protests have united the political class after the sense of danger and is now standing at the line of one project to get rid of the demonstrations in any way possible.

The Iraqi political observer does not rule out that all parties agree to make formal amendments to the current government, so that these amendments do not affect the position of parties in power and if it is necessary to abandon a number of conservatives in the rebellious cities, the government will find a way to compensate their parties in proportion to their loss.

The observer said in a statement to the “Arabs” that the parties combined in the security treatment means to impose a new agenda through which to deal with activists in the next phase, which is exposed by the position of Muqtada al-Sadr, which is dedicated to condemn the US position completely forgetting the hundreds of demonstrators killed in Baghdad And the cities of the south, much like the position of Sistani, who still insists on holding the stick from the center without criticizing violence by the security services.

The Arabs

السيستاني يحذّر الحكومة من وصول التظاهرات إلى النجف

Political blocs deliberately postpone “where do you get this” and procrastinate in the election law

BAGHDAD, Nov 14, 2019, (WAFA) -Al-Fateh MP, Hassan Arab, revealed on Thursday, November 14, 2019, that there are consultations inside the House of Representatives on the law (where do you get this?), Pointing out that it seems hasty and holds “vague paragraphs” .

Arab lawmakers said the law faces some “objection to its provisions.”

Arab said that the meeting of the Legal Committee decided to postpone “to get him out properly,” noting that the adoption of this form “hurts a segment of citizens.”

On the health insurance law, Arabs stressed that “the law contains 57 articles.”

He added, “The previous laws were put through the government; but the laws of today were established within the parliament or the presidency because of public pressure.”

Arabs pointed out, “send 111 laws from the government to parliament, all of which are financial, and can not be approved only with the approval of the government,” citing the inclusion of “a paragraph in the budget to re-dissolved their contracts, and the appointment of holders of certificates, while the government overturned that, because A surplus in the state budget. ”

Arabs pointed out that “the Presidency is the one who decides to send laws to the committees, and there are some laws have been disabled, or postponed because of the current circumstances, including the elections law and the abolition of privileges.”

“The public pressure on the government and parliament was a real motive to calm the street, as well as the adoption of laws to suit the aspirations of the demonstrators,” he said.

Forces to circumvent the crisis 

The political forces benefiting from the current political map guaranteeing their positions and privileges focus on promoting a caretaker government, in conjunction with setting a date for early elections, knowing that it is gaining time, to maintain the current political situation, and not be able to move them from their positions of influence.

The sources said that political forces deliberately drained solutions in the election of a new prime minister, and make it a late step preceded by the complex arrangements for the implementation of Article (64) of the Constitution, which includes the dissolution of the House of Representatives, at the request of a third of its members, or a request from the Speaker Ministers and with the approval of the President of the Republic.

Until the President of the Republic, upon dissolution of the Council of Representatives, calls for general elections in the country within a maximum period of sixty days from the date of dissolution, the Council of Ministers shall continue to conduct daily matters, which means that these parties and forces shall continue to be at the center of the decision. This could be explained by its keenness to slow the election of a new prime minister.

Indeed, sources told Al-Masala that these forces are “striking” the caretaker government, because it will be concerned with it, where it has the opportunity to pass interests and centers of influence again, taking advantage of the calm provided by the caretaker government, which is right It is meant to be void.

 It is worth mentioning that the Constitution does not contain a clause on the resignation of the Prime Minister, as Article 18 refers to the “vacancy of office for any reason whatsoever”, and this vacancy was not limited to no confidence only from the Prime Minister.

In order to stop the circumvention of political forces that are enthusiastic about the caretaker government, the President must pay attention to this, and exercise his right to appoint another candidate for prime minister within a period not exceeding 15 days (as stipulated in the Constitution), thus blocking the road to the forces Which is struggling today, to turn the caretaker period, into a golden opportunity to pass what you could not in the government of Adel Abdul Mahdi.

It calls on important political parties through the “obelisk” to find an immediate alternative to the prime minister, as the rebellious youth, the duty not to accept otherwise, and realize that the caretaker government, a political plot, must not pass.

The Obelisk

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laws awaiting voting next week

Baghdad / Obelisk: The House of Representatives, Thursday, November 14, 2019, continue to hold its meetings, next week, while the presidency of the Council set 6 laws, to vote on, soon.

A parliamentary source, in a press statement, followed by the “obelisk”, that “the presidency of the parliament set six laws to vote on in the next session, namely: –

– Integrity and Graft Law

– Amending the law of the provincial and district councils

– Proposal for the abolition of privileges law

– Unified Retirement Law

– Health Insurance Law

– The Olympic Committee Law.

The Obelisk

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The start of the parliament session with the presence of 235 deputies

Release date:: 2019-11-14 15:18

(Baghdad: Euphrates News) The House of Representatives held its regular session on Thursday.

The session was presided over by Majlis Speaker Halbousi and attended by 235 deputies.

The agenda of the session includes a vote on the proposal to abolish the financial privileges of officials in the state and vote on the draft law of the first amendment to the Integrity Commission and complete the vote on the proposal of the Health Insurance Law.

https://alforatnews.com/modules/news/article.php?storyid=218789

Iraq’s protests raise question: Where does the oil money go?

By SAMYA KULLAB

today

BAGHDAD (AP) — Waves of violent protests have engulfed Baghdad and Iraq’s southern provinces, with demonstrators chanting for the downfall of a political establishment that they say doesn’t prioritize them.

Fueling the unrest is anger over an economy flush with oil money that has failed to bring jobs or improvements to the lives of young people, who are the majority of those taking to the streets. They say they have had enough of blatant government corruption and subpar basic services.

At least 320 people have died, and thousands have been wounded since the unrest began on October 1.

“We are jobless and poor, but every day we see the flares of the oil fields,” said Huda, an activist in Basra, the province that accounts for the lion’s share of Iraq’s crude exports. She spoke on condition she be identified only by her first name for security reasons.

“Where do the millions go?” she asked.

It’s a good question. Oil accounts for roughly 85-90% of state revenue. This year’s federal budget anticipated $79 billion in oil money based on projected exports of 3.88 million barrels per day at a price of $56 a barrel. Iraq’s economy improved in 2019 due to rising in oil production, and GDP growth is expected to grow by 4.6% by the end of the year, according to the World Bank.

The fruits of these riches are rarely seen by the average Iraqi because of financial mismanagement, bureaucratic inefficiency and corruption, experts and officials told The Associated Press. Overall unemployment is around 11% while 22% of the population lives in poverty, according to World Bank estimates. A striking one-third of Iraqi youth are without jobs.

“One of the main problems is that the oil wealth is spent on the public sector, and especially on salaries,” said Ali al-Mawlawi, head of research at al-Bayan Center, a Baghdad-based think-tank.

Iraq’s brand of sectarian power-sharing — called the “muhasasa” system in Arabic — effectively empowers political elites to govern based on consensus and informal agreements, marginalizing the role of parliament and alienating much of the Iraqi population in the process.

On the ground, this dynamic has played out through a quota system whereby resources are shared among political leaders, with each vying to increase networks of patronage and build support. To do this, leaders have relied on doling out government jobs as a foolproof method to preserve loyalty.

This tactic has bloated the public sector and drained Iraq’s oil-financed budget, leaving little for investment in badly needed social and infrastructure projects.

“That has been the approach,” said al-Mawlawi, “Patronage is based primarily on the provision of jobs rather than anything else. It’s the primary way to distribute resources — through the public sector.” In the 2019 budget, public sector compensation accounted for nearly 40% of state spending.

Iraq’s public sector grew in parallel with the development of the country’s oil industry following the 2003 U.S.-led invasion that toppled dictator Saddam Hussein. With major international oil companies flocking to develop the country’s oil fields, the number of government employees grew three-fold in the last 16 years, according to Mawlawi’s research.

Offering jobs is also a recourse used by Iraqi politicians to quell protests in the past. Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi included thousands of hires in a reform package introduced last month. Experts said this approach only perpetuates the problem.

The trend is not unique to Iraq; oil-rich Gulf countries have experienced the same. But the oil sector’s inextricable link to Iraq’s muhasasa system has created a “Frankenstein version” of a typical phenomenon, said Ahmed Tabaqchali, a senior fellow at the Sulaymaniyah-based Institute of Regional and International Studies and Chief Investment Officer at Asia Frontier Capital Iraq Fund.

Because of muhasasa’s multiple, decentralized networks, “instead of one single authoritarian doing the hiring, we have many hiring as if on steroids,” Tabaqchali said.

Following the money trail of how ministries spend their budgets is difficult even for well-meaning reformers because there is little transparency and accountability.

The national budget has allocated increasing amounts every year for “goods and services,” which can vary from public service projects to mundane expenses like maintaining a ministry building. But many complain little progress can be seen on the ground.

In some cases, the money is simply not spent because of poor planning and management, said al-Mawlawi.

Last year’s budget ended with a surplus of around $21 billion “not because we had too much money, but because we didn’t know how to spend it the right way,” he said.

Often, money earmarked for service projects by the government or international organizations gets spent by ministry officials for expenditures, said an Iraqi official, who requested anonymity because of regulations. Officials lump all the budgets together for spending and then “they always prioritize petty things and claim the money isn’t enough for the project,” the official said.

Or the funds are used to pay debts accumulated from previous years, the official said. “So when it’s time to sign the contract, they say ‘no money’ because what they have isn’t enough.”

“There are thousands of ways bureaucrats can siphon it off,” the official added.

Crucial projects, meanwhile, remain incomplete.

School buildings in Basra, the province that accounts for the lion’s share of oil exports, are crumbling and overcrowded with multiple-shift programs.

On a recent visit to the Al-Akrameen school in the Abu Khaseeb neighborhood, headmaster Abdulhussain AbdulKhudher said he had asked the Education Directorate for funding to refurbish the school building erected in 1972 but was told there was no money.

“I rely on parents and volunteers to give furniture, keep the place clean for students so they can get an education,” he said.

Nearby, another school stood desolate. A young girl walked by and explained that it was empty and the students had been moved to another pre-existing school. “It will collapse any minute,” she said.

Iraqi leaders have been unwilling so far to reform the system, which experts said is unsustainable because of limited resources and overreliance on volatile oil markets.

Serious attempts were made following the 2015 financial crisis, when unpopular austerity measures were introduced by former Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi’s administration. But when oil prices recovered, political pressure trumped strict spending measures.

Abdul-Mahdi’s government saw a 25% increase in spending compared to previous years.

apnews.com

Names .. Legal expert determines the replacements of the three Iraqi presidencies in the event of resignation

Resignation

policy

of

the three presidencies of

Iraq

2019/11/14 04:14:14

A

Legal expert Tareq Harb said on Thursday that there will be no constitutional vacuum with the resignation of the three presidencies at the behest of the demonstrators in Iraq.

Harb said in a statement today that “what has been happening since weeks of the demonstration took the nature of continuity and it is safest to provide solutions to the demonstration and try to please the demonstrators and achieve something that can be dramatic so that the current reality to another reality.”

He added that “the resignation of the three presidencies can be a real solution to the current reality and does not result in the resignation of any constitutional vacuum or real turmoil, because the resignation of the Prime Minister entails the assumption of anger Ghadban his deputy and the resignation of the Speaker of Parliament entails the assumption of Al-Kaabi deputy to this position and the resignation of the President of the Republic “Parliament will elect a new president.”

“The parliament also elects a new president and a new prime minister because the resignation of the prime minister constitutionally means the resignation of the government and the caretaker administration of his deputy is angry. The prime minister left work until the parliament elects a new prime minister and new ministers.”

The capital Baghdad, and a number of provinces with a predominantly Shiite demonstrations since the beginning of last October to protest the deterioration of service and living conditions, and the spread of unemployment within the community and the spread of financial and administrative corruption in state institutions and departments.

Demonstrators rose to the sack of the current federal government headed by Adel Abdul-Mahdi and the removal of political parties that emerged after 2003, and go to early elections in Iraq under the auspices of the United Nations.

More than 300 protesters were killed and about 15,000 wounded during clashes with security forces in different parts of the country.

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Mr. Ammar al-Hakim to the US ambassador: the need to be a purely Iraqi solutions away from outside interference

Date: 2019/11/14 12:28 • 106 times read

The head of the wisdom movement, Mr. Ammar al-Hakim, on Thursday, the need to be a purely Iraqi solutions to resolve the country’s crises away from foreign interference.

Mr. Hakim said in a statement received (Euphrates News) a copy, “We reiterated the need to be a purely Iraqi solutions to all crises of the country away from outside interference, as we pointed out during our meeting with US Ambassador to Baghdad Matthew Toller that the National Wisdom Stream The reform steps taken by the government as an opposition stream and to meet the demands of the demonstrators. ”

Mr. Hakim added: “We also stressed the importance of protecting peaceful demonstrators and providing a safe environment for the exercise of their constitutional right, and the need to hold accountable the perpetrators of the loss of life and the loss of victims.”

In turn, the US ambassador stressed “respect for the will of the Iraqis and their ability to solve their internal problems,” noting that “the speech of the highest religious authority on the non-interference of States in the Iraqi issue is respected and appreciated.” is over

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