The Iraqi parliament completes voting on the election law

Friday – 13 Rabi` Al-Awal 1442 AH – 30 October 2020 AD Issue No. [15312]

Baghdad: «Middle East»

After long labor and sessions until early dawn for three consecutive nights, the Iraqi parliament voted, at dawn yesterday, on the last knot in the election law, which is the electoral districts in Kirkuk governorate.

The parliament had voted two days earlier on the special districts in Nineveh governorate, while about 4 days ago, it had voted on the electoral districts in 16 of the 18 governorates of Iraq.

By ending the dispute over Nineveh and Kirkuk, the election law approved by the parliament about a year ago, with the exception of the annex on electoral districts, has been completed and the way is clear for approval by the President of the Republic, especially since the imbalance of the quorum of the Federal Supreme Court makes the challenge to the law unthinkable.

The spokesman for Parliament Speaker Shaker Hamed told Al-Sharq al-Awsat that “the council voted at dawn on Thursday on the electoral districts of Kirkuk governorate, which were divided into 3 districts distributed into 12 seats, 5 of which are for the East district, 4 for the center, and 3 for Hawija and Riyadh.” He added, “After this vote, the new election law will be complete from the legislative point of view, which adopted the individual candidacy and the highest votes within the multiple constituencies in 18 Iraqi provinces.” And he considered that “this law came in compliance with the demonstrators’ demands for reform and partial payment of the debt (to the October victims) of the martyrs and the wounded.”

For his part, Bader Al-Ziyadi, the representative of the “Saeron” coalition, affirmed that the House of Representatives, after completing the first phase associated with holding early elections, will start next week with the second phase related to the Federal Court’s law.

Al-Ziyadi said in a press statement that «the House of Representatives will work, starting next week, to complete the Federal Court’s law due to its importance and the condition of its approval of the results of the upcoming elections. He added, “The political forces fully agree that elections cannot be held without activating the Federal Court.”

He pointed out that «there are two ways to activate the work of the court, the first is through the legislation of a new law for the court, which includes many disagreements on the subject of religious scholars and legal experts, unanimous or majority voting and other points, and it will be postponed until after the elections in the event that no final agreement is reached. ». He explained that “the second and easiest way is through coordination with the rest of the presidencies and amending the law in force to find a mechanism for nominating two new members as an alternative to the first retired and the second deceased.”

The deputy from Baghdad governorate, Aras Habib Karim, believes that “by completing the vote on the election law, we are now faced with two new challenges, namely the Federal Court and the practical procedures for how to hold the elections as scheduled.” Habib added to “Al-Sharq al-Awsat” that “the battle of the Federal Court is no less dangerous and important, if it does not outweigh the election law itself, because if its law or quorum is not decided, then the elections have no practical value because they remain without legitimacy according to the constitution.” He pointed out that “efforts during the coming period must focus on completing these matters, including holding elections via the biometric card in order to ensure their integrity and cut off fraud.”

On the other hand, the leader of the National Coalition, Iyad Allawi, criticized the election law, saying that it “came according to the measurements of some of the ruling blocs and parties.” He stressed in a statement that “the election law will perpetuate sectarianism and quotas, and will end with clear procedures to divide the country. It will also reinforce the divisions in the country at the level of the representative authorities and the forces that make up the council.” He pointed out that «the new election law will weaken the role of the representative and strengthen regionalism at the expense of the country’s supreme interest, which will backfire on the government».