Too much going on which sort of confuses me.
I was out of the country for 5 weeks and look at the state they got themselves into.
Pah! These emerging democracies are so unreliable. And no one even cracked a smile when the Iraqi National Assembly decided to do something unconstitutional to save the constitution writing process!
Yes, I am sure the one-week extension is unconstitutional. I was looking up the TAL a couple of hours before the deadline to check what will happen if they can’t bring a draft to the National Assembly and it clearly states in Article 61 paragraph F
If necessary, the president of the National Assembly, with the agreement of a majority of the members’ votes, may certify to the Presidency Council no later than 1 August 2005 that there is a need for additional time to complete the writing of the draft constitution. The Presidency Council shall then extend the deadline for writing the draft constitution for only six months. This deadline may not be extended again.
So if they would have wanted an extension they should have asked the National Assembly two weeks prior to the submission deadline.
The Next question is obviously why did they panic and voted for this unconstitutional extension?
Because the paragraph before the one above states that if the National Assembly failed to present a draft it will be dissolved. And it seems certain parties on that day did actually start drafting a paper demanding the dissolution of the National Assembly because they did not believe there will be any sort of accord on a draft.
A couple of options other than the dissolution were discussed, like announcing that there was a draft but a couple of disputed points still needed to be hammered out. What nobody mentioned thru all this was the fact that there was no unified document to discuss.
You would think the constitution committee would have presented the main political parties with a draft but members at the constitution committee were complaining of all sorts of things hindering this task including the bizarre complaint that the text sent to clerks to be typed came back with different wording and this caused a bit of a conspiracy theory atmosphere. At one point all clerks were asked to leave and an American typist was brought in!!
On the day of the vote itself things were still in a state of confusion, the draft which part of the Shia coalition were considering had the sentence “as long as it does not contradict Islamic Law” sprinkled at the end of choice paragraphs while it didn’t show at the drafts the other groups had. Everybody realized they were not looking at the same text, which dragged the whole process back to square one.
Bottom line is that after months of deliberations when the 15th of August came everyone involved realized belatedly that the draft each group had was different from the next and it all became a bit of a mess.
Hence a suggestion was quickly made to vote for an extension and to the question if it was legal or not the answer was “yes yes just do it”.
Phew! Gossip sure makes me thirsty. Hang on, need tea. In the mean time I’ll upload a song.
Two days AFTER the crisis and the delay (i.e. last Wednesday) representatives of the main political parties sat down together and put a rough draft, which is being used now as a basis for negotiations.
Does this mean everybody is onboard and talking? Naa, not really.
It looks like for some reason the Shia’s heart is not in it. Take today’s morning meeting for example. This was supposed to be a high level meeting to sit down and talk things thru because they don’t have much time left. Even representatives of the US and UK governments were to be present.
High level representation from the Kurdish parties were there, Allawi was there, british and US representatives, Three men representing various Sunni factions and a rep for the Islamic Party, even Adnan Pachechi made an appearance.
From the Shia parties? Abdul-Azziz al-Hakim is said to be complaining of back aches and did not show up. Jaafari showed up for 10 minutes and left and Adil Abdul-Mahdi did not go into the meeting!!!
So the other parties ask the few Shia present at the meeting if they have the right to talk in the name of their parties but the answer is no, they are not authorized to negotiate. The meeting is deemed pointless and everybody goes home.
This is 3 days before the deadline.
I am all gossiped out now, I still want to rant a bit about the draft but I need to recharge.