Parliament deletes the news of holding an international workshop for constitutional amendments.. What is the position of the “Framework”

In a strange step taken by the Presidency of the House of Representatives, it held a workshop to discuss constitutional amendments in the presence of European experts, but it deleted the news of the workshop after it was published from the official website of the House, and kept it completely secret, but a representative of the coordination framework to which the Acting Speaker of the House, Mohsen Al-Mandalawi, belongs, He stressed the government’s seriousness (supported by the framework) in making constitutional amendments, but he hinted at the possibility of transferring them to the next government because it would take a lot of time.

An informed parliamentary source said, during an interview with “Al Aalem Al Jadeed,” that “the House of Representatives held a special workshop on constitutional amendments, in cooperation with the European Foundation for Dialogue and Development, and it was sponsored by the Acting Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mohsen Al-Mandulay, and the final statement was issued during which it was agreed to hold other meetings, but what happened was that the statement related to the workshop, and after it was published, directions were issued to delete it permanently from all parliamentary media outlets.”

The source adds, “The workshop, which was held in the presence of constitutional specialists from four European countries, Iraqi figures, and officials in the Parliament’s administration, was kept secret, especially since it was held without the presence of any Iraqi representative or representative of the Parliamentary Legal Committee,” continuing that “the orders to delete the statement of conducting the session is still unknown, but some suggestions suggest that it may be linked to his statement of the loopholes in the constitution that need to be identified, as it was objected to by major political forces, which prompted the Presidency of Parliament to delete it and conceal it, as if it had never happened.”

“Al Aalem Al Jadeed” obtained a copy of the deleted statement of the House of Representatives, regarding the workshop that was held inside Parliament, which included: The House of Representatives, under the auspices of Acting Speaker of the House of Representatives Mohsen Al-Mandalawi, held a workshop entitled (Dimensions related to constitutional law and constitutional policy of the preamble of the Iraqi constitution and its basic principles) and the rules for amending it) in cooperation with the European Foundation for Dialogue and Development and in the presence of legal advisors from the House of Representatives and the Council of State and a number of deans and professors of law colleges, in addition to experts in constitutional law from Germany, Spain, Portugal and Switzerland.

Within the statement, the Research and Development Advisor in the House of Representatives, Firas Al-Husseini, delivered a speech on behalf of Al-Mandalawi, in which he pointed out that the constitution was written under very precise political circumstances and developments and was the supreme document agreed upon by the active political forces at the time and voted on by the Iraqi masses, indicating that it It is natural, after 19 years, for the political and social forces and elites to agree to conduct a critical and scientific review to confront some of the issues that were not addressed by the existing constitution and to confront the new changes in political, economic and social life in the state, which requires a new constitutional treatment that achieves the higher goals of the state whose existence is considered part of legitimacy. Noting that shedding light on the preamble of the Constitution, the basic principles and rules for amending it, and stating the observations of experts from the European Union and specialists from Iraq on these topics should be within the framework of the agreement on partial amendment of the provisions of the Constitution, which is carried out through the authority competent to amend or add other articles.

Al-Husseini also indicated, according to the deleted statement, that there is a political desire and high coordination between the House of Representatives, the government, and the political forces to make constitutional amendments in a way that serves and achieves the aspirations of the Iraqi people.

The general referendum on the Iraqi constitution was held in 2005, where the Iraqi people voted on its provisions, and on October 25 of that year, the constitution was considered effective, despite the opposition of the Sunni political forces to it, and at that time it was agreed that the constitution would be amended immediately after voting on it. But this has not happened yet.

In 2019, the House of Representatives formed a committee to amend the constitution against the backdrop of popular protests, but the committee did not achieve any progress towards the amendments, due to political rejection.

During an interview with Al Aalem Al Jadeed, member of the Parliamentary Legal Committee, Salem Al-Anbaki, did not comment on the deletion of the news of the constitutional amendments workshop.

Regarding making constitutional amendments, Al-Anbaki explains, “There is seriousness in the issue of making some constitutional amendments, and there are government committees formed that are studying this issue by the Prime Minister as well as the Presidency of the Republic, and the work of the committees is ongoing and ongoing without any interruption.”

He points out, “The issue of making constitutional amendments requires a lot of time. This matter requires legal and technical procedures, as well as logistical procedures, and legal formulation for any amendment made to any of the articles of the constitution. This issue is still in its infancy, and Prime Minister Muhammad Shiaa Al-Sudani is serious about this matter.”

A member of the Parliamentary Legal Committee confirms that, “Certainly, any constitutional measure requires comprehensive political agreement and consensus from all political parties without any exception, especially since it requires the House of Representatives to vote on it as well as holding a popular referendum on some amendments. Therefore, we say that the matter requires time, and it may go away most likely to the next government.”

It is noteworthy that the former President of the Republic, Barham Salih, formed a committee to amend the constitution, and began its work, but did not reach realistic results. Salih repeated the demand to amend the constitution in more than one official forum throughout his presidential term.

It is noteworthy that the October 2019 demonstrations demanded a constitutional amendment to get rid of some provisions that were exploited by the political blocs, in addition to their demand at the time to abolish the provincial councils by amending the constitution, since it stipulated their existence.

During the crisis of forming the current government two years ago, many calls emerged to amend the constitution, to get rid of the provisions related to electing the President of the Republic and appointing the Prime Minister, especially since the crisis between the political forces continued for more than a year, as the country entered a complete political deadlock.

The head of the Supreme Judicial Council, Faiq Zaidan, published an article in the year 2022, during the political crisis, in which he affirmed that the 2005 constitution was drafted in circumstances that differed at the time from the current circumstances, and most of those who participated in producing it in the currently effective form are at the forefront of those calling for amending it now due to the circumstances and developments in the political reality that has reached the stage of violating the constitution on more than one occasion due to constitutional texts that are no longer appropriate for the current stage.

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