Iraq and Gulf Analysis

An Iraq Blog by a Victim of the Human Rights Crimes of the Norwegian Government

The Iraqi Supreme Court Certifies the 30 April General Election Result

Posted by Reidar Visser on Monday, 16 June 2014 19:54

It’s official: The provisional result of Iraq’s 30 April general election, published last month, has been certified by the federal supreme court.

In the IHEC statement to this effect, there is a caveat. 4 seat winners have not been approved, and won’t be approved until they have been cleared of charges relating to serious crime cases against them. Pending settlement of the court cases, their membership in parliament will remain pending, and no replacement deputies will be appointed. Whereas this may sound somewhat messy, it is actually what happened also in 2010, when 2 seat winners were provisionally excluded. Back then, it took longer for parliament to reconvene than for the judicial authorities to settle one of the cases (and one candidate was voluntarily substituted by another candidate from his bloc), so no procedural problems emerged.

With the general political climate in Iraq approaching boiling point, questions will inevitably pertain to the political affiliations of those 4 that were excluded. 3 of them come from a single list, the Sunni, pro-Nujayfi list that ran in Diyala province: Salim al-Jibburi, Raad al-Dahlaki and Umar al-Humayri. They have all been in various forms of conflict with Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, and Jibburi (once an Iraqi Islamic Party member who cooperated with the first Maliki government) and Humayri (ex governor of Diyala ousted by Maliki allies) most bitterly so.

Still, before running to conclusions about another politicized court decision in Iraq, consider the fourth excluded candidate: Abbas Jabir al-Khuzaie, a seat winner in Qadisiyya province for Maliki’s own State of Law list. Khuzaie is a local politician from the Qadisiyya council who was once with the secular Iraqiyya before defecting to State of Law in 2011. He was then with the Independents bloc of Hussein al-Shahristani and may still be a member of that bloc subunit. Still, despite ongoing internal rivalry in State of Law, it seems unlikely that Maliki would fabricate an exclusion from his own rank in a situation where the loyalty of every new single Iraqi deputy is meticulously being monitored in the contest to form the biggest parliament bloc and supply the next premier candidate.

The certification of the election result opens the door for government formation: The Iraqi president (or his acting deputy) must issue a call for the Iraqi parliament to convene within 15 days, i.e. at the end of June. Theoretically, parliament will then elect its speaker, and, within a month, a new president who will then charge the candidate of the largest bloc in parliament to form a government.

For Iraqi politicians, despite the current crisis, the parliamentary government formation process is likely to remain the main political track going forward. It is a problem, therefore, that much US rhetoric on conditions for aid to the Iraqi government seem focused on ideas about some sort of national reconciliation initiative that would precede the delivery of further assistance. It is very hard to see how that would fit in with the Iraqi government formation logic. Whereas there has been much talk among Americans about imposing conditionality on future military assistance in Iraq, US rhetoric has been disconcertingly void of specific proposals for measures that would satisfy them. On the other hand, there is no lack of American suggestions for favourite cabinet line-ups that could be imposed, possibly even with Iranian support. Some of this thinking seems to belong to the era of the CPA in 2003–04, rather than in today’s situation.

Meanwhile, ISIS continues its savagery, the Kurds consolidate their quasi-independence, and Maliki for once actually has an excuse for drumming up state-of-emergency rhetoric.

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9 Responses to “The Iraqi Supreme Court Certifies the 30 April General Election Result”

  1. Legal Expert: Parliament session can be held without attendance of all MPs Saturday, 21 June 2014 19:21 Baghdad (AIN) –The Legal Expert, Tariq Harb, stated that the parliament session can be held without the attendance of all the MPs. He stated in a press statement received by AIN “Some sides stated that the parliament session cannot be held due to not approving four MPs by the Federal Court and I assured that Article 23 of the interior system of the parliament states that more than half of the MPs which is 165 MPs can achieve the quorum to hold the session.” http://www.alliraqnews.c ··· -all-mps

  2. Well, that’s fairly obvious and nothing new in that. The Iraqi press sometimes publishes the various “declarations” of the political class of the country with scant attention to their actual newsworthiness.

    What is more interesting now is that acting president Khuzaie appears to be procrastinating with the call for the first parliament session, which is due around 1 June according to the constitution.

  3. Given the following, it has been less obvious to me. ” Whereas this may sound somewhat messy, it is actually what happened also in 2010, when 2 seat winners were provisionally excluded. Back then, it took longer for parliament to reconvene than for the judicial authorities to settle one of the cases (and one candidate was voluntarily substituted by another candidate from his bloc), so no procedural problems emerged.”

  4. I think there may have been a misunderstanding. I was referring to the formal status of the non-approved candidates, not to the ability or otherwise of parliament to go ahead with its session.

  5. Thank you. I was sure that I had misunderstood something. I was just explaining my ” mindset ” which I have conceded to be naïve and uninformed, but I am trying. Thanks

  6. ” The Constitution requires the President to invite new parliament to convene within 15 days of the ratification of the election results, with the possibility to extend this invitation for once. ” Does ” ……….. the possibility to extend this invitation for once. ” mean fifteen ( 15 ) more days ?

  7. Article 54: The President of the Republic shall call upon the Council of Representatives to convene by a presidential decree within fifteen days from the date of the ratification of the general election results. Its eldest member shall chair the first session to elect the speaker of the Council and his two deputies. This period may not be extended by more than the aforementioned period. http://www.wipo.int/wipolex/en/text.jsp?file_id=230001

  8. Where can one find ” Article 23 of the interior system of the parliament ” and other articles of the ‘ interior system ‘ ?

  9. Yes, there could be another 15 days. “The interior system” is the bylaws of the Iraqi parliament, available here:

    http://ar.parliament.iq/LiveWebsites/Arabic/Council-Bylaws.aspx

    Not sure if there is an English version.

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