The following is the editorial of “Tareeq Al-Shaab” (People’s Path), the newspaper of the Iraqi Communist Party, on 24th April 2022:
The Iraqi Democratic Movement, represented by the Iraqi Communist Party and the Iraqi Nation Party, filed (on 19 April 2022) a lawsuit against the Speaker of the Parliament due to the Parliament’s violation of the Constitution, and its delay in electing the President of the Republic and forming the Iraqi government, in accordance with the constitutional dues and their specified periods.
The filing of this lawsuit came in response to the continuation of the political impasse for months (since the elections on 10th October 2021), and the violation during this period of the Constitutional timetable (for electing a new President) and the relevant articles of the Constitution.
It is clear that these repeated violations threaten the „democratic structure“ of the state, since the Constitution is the guarantor and regulator of political life in the country. During the past few years, the ruling political groups have continued to circumvent the articles of the Constitution, seeking to subjugate it to political deals, conflicts and quarrels, attempting even in critical issues to replace the Constitution and its text with the so-called “customs” invented by dominant forces and blocs.
The failure to elect the President of the Republic led to a violation of Article 72, Section 2(b) of the Constitution, which obligates the Parliament to elect a new President within thirty days from the date of its first session.
The complaint submitted to the Federal Court indicated that the violations constituted a breach of Article 50 of the Constitution which obligated a member of the Parliament, when taking the constitutional oath and before they began their work, to implement the legislations honestly and impartially. However, what occurred is that embers of the Parliament, by boycotting the sessions to elect the President of the Republic, have violated the oath stipulated in Article 50, and thus obstructed the implementation of Article 73, Section 2. Boycotting the session, in the circumstances in which it took place, constituted a disruption of the constitutional life and the work of the Parliament. This was not only obstructing the election of the President but also the formation of the new government. This also prevents the approval of the budget for 2022, and the resulting repercussions on the lives of citizens, on the work of state institutions and the Iraqi economy as a whole.
What has happened and is continuing to happen can prolong the existence of the caretaker government, which is not desirable and is not in line with the constitutional rules and norms. The time limit for such a government as set by the Constitution must not exceed 30 days. Prolonging its existence constitutes a disruption of the peaceful transfer of power as stipulated in Article 6 of the Constitution.
On the other hand, the filing of this lawsuit has come to deal with a loophole in the constitutional and legal system, as the body concerned with monitoring constitutional violations is absent. This highlights the duty of parties, organizations, unions, civil society organisations, personalities, public opinion circles, and all interested parties, to play their role in drawing attention and objecting to the violations that occur by addressing the Federal Court. A previous example of this was when the open session of the Parliament was cancelled in accordance with a decision of the same court in October 2010.
It is an important and necessary constitutional and democratic process, and the need for it is confirmed today as a means of pressure, in conjunction with other forms of popular and public pressure, which are required to stop the state of deterioration, inaugurate a new chapter, and ensure moving ahead along the path of serious reform and comprehensive change.
It is clear that in order for such a lawsuit to achieve its goals, it must have broad support and extensive backing.