Iraqi Parliament Speaker calls for amending constitution

The Parliament Speaker of Iraq on Sunday asked the political factions of the parliament to choose their representatives for the committee responsible for amending the country’s constitution.

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan24) – The Parliament Speaker of Iraq on Sunday asked the political factions of the parliament to choose their representatives for the committee responsible for amending the country’s constitution.

During the weekend’s assembly session, Salim al-Jabouri called on the parties in the Iraqi parliament to pick their representatives to move forward with amending the constitution.

The factions have yet to agree on Jabouri’s request, and a Kurdish member of parliament views it as something difficult to be done in Iraq's current situation.

“The request of Jabouri is legal, but it is challenging right now,” Farhad Qadr, a Kurdish Member of Parliament in Baghdad told a Kurdish news outlet on Sunday.

Qadr believes that consensus among all factions in the parliament is required but cannot be achieved at the moment.

During Sunday’s session, Jabouri explained that the former members of parliament had previously asked to amend the constitution, and it could be done by forming a committee.

The request of amending the constitution of Iraq was first requested by former prime minister Nouri al-Maliki when he was in office. The case was supported and discussed by his coalition faction, the State of Law Coalition.

Maliki often complained and related the solution of many problems in Iraq to the amendment of the constitution.

Additionally, Kurds played an important role in writing the current constitution of Iraq in 2005. They were able to locate many Kurdish rights in the constitution.

Now, Kurdish officials believe that the source of many issues in the country is due to Baghdad officials violating the constitution.

Article 140 is one of the examples that Kurds often mention. According to the article, after necessary measures are taken in the disputed territories, a referendum should be held by a date not to exceed Dec. 31, 2007.

People can then decide whether they want to be part of the Kurdistan Region or remain under the administration of the federal government of Iraq.  However, this article has not yet been implemented.

“Changing constitution is legal,” Qadr continued. “We as Kurds have no problems in revising the constitution as long as Kurdish rights are not removed.”

The current constitution of Iraq consists of 144 articles that were approved by the people in 2005. In a general referendum, 78 percent voted for the constitution while 21 percent rejected.

According to the constitution, an amendment can be made after the approval of two-thirds of the members of Parliament, the approval of the people in a general referendum, and the ratification by the President of the Republic within seven days.

 

Editing by Karzan Sulaivany