« provincial election passes in its own special way | Main | USIP Future of US Forces in Iraq »

July 23, 2008



It will take the mainstream press about 3 days to catch up with this story and the McCain campaign about 4 days to figure out how to spin this story to fit in with the glorious progress caused solely by McCain's "My Surge." All the mainstream US political interpretations should be highly amusing as the spin whirls. Ain't political campaigns fun? Talk about weapons of mass destruction....


It's interesting that the law was passed by a secret ballot beause that is against the Iraqi constitution. It appears the Speaker of the parliament over-reached himself.

My recollection of procedures is that if the Presidency Council and Parliamentary leaders cannot negotiate a compromise, the bill goes back to the COR but requires a two thirds majority to be passed. In that respect the system has similiarities to the US after a presidental veto? Whatever, the vote cannot be in secret without being illegal.

btw AA - your links to McCain and the Awakenings? It is a matter of record that the sharp drop in US casualties in Anbar province did NOT occur until March 2007, three months after 4000 extra marines had been committed to Anbar as part of the surge.

Crude Analysis

What's the relationship between this provincial elections law and the provincial powers law that was initially rejected by Abdul-Mahdi at the end of February and then eventually approved in mid-March? While approved, the Presidency Council then issued a statement saying that they would work with parliament on further amendments. Is this law the additions that they were talking about? Will this be the last law that has to be passed and approved to pave the way toward actually holding the elections?

And bb, you're right that any law rejected by the Council then needs a two-thirds majority to be approved in parliament the second time around. However, I'm not sure if this means two-thirds of 275 or two-thirds of the members present. If only 183 or 184, maybe it's possible? I haven't heard that discussed, so many it's not realistic.

Would the Kurds still walk out if it wasn't a secret vote? It would be something if the Kurds ended up demanding the implementation of Article 140, as the two issues don't appear to be mutually exclusive. What are the Kurds pushing for as far as distribution of the provincial council seats? Simply no framework and just see how the votes end up?

Attiyah at yesterday's news conference: "By their deed today, those who were anxious for the bill to be passed as quickly as possible, have--wittingly or unwittingly--contributed to obstructing elections in Iraq."

nur al-cubicle

Confirmed that Talabani has vetoed the law.


Crude Analysis,

The provincial powers law passed back in February(?) was to try to delineate the powers of the provinces which is a bit muddy in the constitution. Mahdi vetoed it because it gives Baghdad ultimate power over the provincial governors, but then he took it back and the law was passed.

I think those new powers go into affect after the provincial elections. The elections themselves are awaiting the separate election law, which just got vetoed today by the Pres. Council.


Despite the relative recent calm in Iraq the fissures and fractures that run through the country remain very close to rupture, trembling and threaten to re-explode at any time. Yesterday the lack of political cohesion was underlined when Iraq's parliament passed legislation setting new rules for provincial elections. As we know, the Kurdish legislators boycotted the vote. This will likely delay parliamentary elections which had been scheduled for October 1st into next year.

It underlines the fundamental fact of the Iraq debate, force has imposed calm, but peace and harmony can not be externally imposed. The splits between (and internally amongst) Kurds, Sunnis, Shi'ites, Turkomen and others have deep roots in Iraq. Despite the United States military's recent surge, all sides are well armed. Worse oil revenue, territorial boundaries, control of local policing, and the levers of state, all remain disputed.

Barack Obama got the tenor of the situation when making remarks upon departing the country, "So far, I think we have not seen the kind of political reconciliation that's going to bring about long-term stability in Iraq."

It is essential to recognize that the map on the ground of the state of Iraq was externally imposed by an outsider. The ramifications have yet to be resolved.


good thing this.

now the entire world know about arab separatists dividing iraq by this action.

they exposed their true face by violating the iraqi constitution and start the partition of iraq.

arabs seems to have genetic defection when it comes to treaties and agreements.

they dont even respect their own holy book the qoran much less a graphity text called iraqi constitution which they violate and delay as they please.


I can't see the problem with violating the Iraqi constitution. It was a text written in the US embassy anyway. Iraqis have an approximative attitude towards the constitution, as do George Bush and Dick Cheyney.


I think you are all exaggerating about the splits. The only split is between Kurds and non-Kurds in Iraq. Other splits have grown slighter under the impact of the SOFA negotiations, and the fury at the realisation of what the US is planning to do.

Talabani & Co are angry, certainly. It will be interesting to see if they get their way.



According to what I've read the Kurds, SIIC and Dawa had a deal to cancel the power sharing clause for Kirkuk in the law, but that fell apart. Most of the Dawa ended up voting for the law. The SIIC-Kurdish alliance appears to be holding at least amongst the leadership because both Pres. Talabani and SIIC VP Mahdi vetoed the law in the Pres. Council.

Crude Analysis


While some may exaggerate certain splits in Iraq, I think you're underestimating, oversimplifying, and mischaracterizing the fissures that certainly do exist. What do you mean that "the only split is between Kurds and non-Kurds in Iraq?" If the only split is Kurd and non-Kurd, how do you explain the UIA-Kurdish alliance that is keeping the Maliki government in power? Without the Kurds, the government would fall... certainly if that is the only major split that exists in Iraq, the alliance wouldn't even exist.

While the Kurds split with the "non-Kurds" on a few key issues (status of Kirkuk, oil law, etc.), I find it hard to argue that this is even the biggest split in Iraqi politics, let alone the only one.

And this isn't to say that there is only a Kurd, Sunni Arab, and Shia divide either. What about the Shia-Shia divide? Or the Sunni-Sunni divide? These two particular splits may be more explosive right now than some of the more obvious, simplistic splits.

By the way, who all is included in "Talabani & Co."?


The opposition parties cooking up a secret ballot with the connivance of the (Sunni) Speaker in order to thwart the party whips is simply hilarious. Oh how Nancy would like to have been able to pull the same trick when facing a Bush veto!

However the Iraqi constitution is jam packed with checks and balances on both executive and parliamentary power precisely in order to forestall anti-constitutional power plays like this one.

Can't wait for the next installment. My betting is the Kurds will get their way in the end.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Blog powered by Typepad