Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Iraqi CP leader criticizes loopholes in provincial elections law

Iraqi CP leader criticizes loopholes in provincial elections law
Hameed Majid Mousa, the leader of the Iraqi Communist Party, criticized the Law for Provincial Councils Elections which was endorsed by the parliament last Wednesday, because of deleting the article that would have allocated minorities seats in the provincial councils and other issues.

Mousa explained in an interview with radio Sawa that the draft law had stipulated allocating these seats in provinces where there is a big proportion of citizens from minorities, such as Basra, Baghdad and Duhok. He added that this article had been deleted earlier because the UN mission in Baghdad and the Regions and Provinces Commission in parliament did not reach an acceptable and specific mechanism for selecting the representatives, which was unfortunate.

Mousa also expressed his regret that members of parliament did not exert more efforts to ensure the representation of minorities in the Law for Provincial Councils Elections. He said that "more consultations and intensive dialogue should have taken place in order to develop a position that guarantees the rights of ethnic and religious minorities."

Mousa stressed the need to take urgent action to rectify the flaw, pointing out that there is still time to issue a supplement regarding this matter, or a decree from the Higher Independent Electoral Commission or the Parliament.

Regarding the article that deals with the use of religious symbols in election campaigns, Mousa said that there is no problem with publishing the pictures of leading figures who are politically active because they are political symbols. What must not be used are the purely religious symbols and figures that do not participate in any political activity so that they don’t get exploited by one party against another. He applauded including the article that prevents the use of religious symbols and worship places for electioneering purposes.

"Tareeq Al-Shaab" (People's Path), daily paper of the Iraqi Communist Party. (28-9-2008)

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