Is three a crowd?

Posted on | February 19, 2010

Reider Visser in The National on 18 February 2010 brings light to an underlooked raft of impending organisational changes to the governance of Iraq after the 7 March election.
Many of the transitional provisions contained in Section 6, Chapter 2 of the 2005 Constitution, commencing at Article 132, will no longer apply to the newly elected Council of Representatives and the Government which it ultimately approves.

  • There will be one largely ceremonial President, not as at present a three person Presidency Council with veto powers [Articles 66-75 / 138]. There may be Vice-Presidents in future but they will not form a triumverate as at present.
  • Therefore the 2006 process by which a single list comprising the 3 member Presidency Council had to be elected by a two-thirds majority in the Council of Representatives is no longer necessary [Article 138(2)].
  • There will be a Prime Minister but there is no requirement for 2 Deputy Prime Ministers [Articles 76-86 / 139]

The De-Baathification Commission, the Property Claims Commission and the Iraqi High Tribunal are all referred to in the Transitional Provisions section of the constitution. No specific time limit is placed upon their existence. However the Council of Representatives has the right to dissolve these bodies (different circumstances and majorities are required in relation to each one) [Articles 134 to 136].
The Kirkuk question was to have been put to referendum by 31 December 2007 [Article 140].
On one reading, the period during which the Article 142 Constitutional Review Committee process was available for recommending amendments to the constitution to be ratified by referendum (in a rather more efficient process than the normal constitutional review process set out in Article 126) has probably long since passed. However it might be possible to read the constitituion to permit this process to continue after the election.