Monday, 7 December 2009

Iraqi CP statement on amended Election Law

Iraqi Communist Party:
Amendment of election law is a deal
struck by dominant forces

The Political Bureau of the Iraqi Communist Party has issued a statement on 7th December 2009 about the deal reached by Iraqi lawmakers to amend the election law, shortly before a midnight deadline on Sunday 6th December 2009, in an urgent session of the Parliament to resolve the impasse. The following is a full translation of the statement:

"The Parliament voted last night, Sunday 6th December, to amend the election law on the basis of a compromise formula reached by the big blocs after intensive meetings and discussions that continued, with the participation of representatives from the U.S. Embassy and the UN, until the last moment of the period allowed to veto the previously amended version of the law. Under the new law, the number of seats in Iraq's parliament will be 325, including 310 seats for provinces and 15 compensatory seats.

Although the vote on the new version of the law has spared the country a political crisis and unforeseen repercussions, our Party considers the agreement that has been struck by the dominant political and parliamentary blocs, and voted by the Parliament, to be disappointing and one that does not change the unfair and undemocratic nature of the law. Our Party reaffirmed its reservation and abstained from voting on the amended version presented by the Speaker of Parliament. The amendments did not put forward anything new to address the serious anti-democratic deficiencies of the election law, in particular with regard to the first and third articles, which reduce the compensatory seats to 15 and adopt the infamous rule that grants remaining seats to the bigger winning lists, in flagrant violation of democracy and principles of justice. The amendments have instead consolidated the tendency towards monopoly and limiting the diversity of political representation in the Parliament, as well as unlawfully usurping millions of votes and confining the distribution of compensatory seats to the winning lists.

We have followed, along with the rest of our people, the regrettable spectacle presented by the dominant political forces as they were locked in an intensified struggle to redistribute seats among the provinces in accordance to narrow calculations, while pushing to the back, if not totally disregarding, the public national interest and the pressing issues of the people. This was done in favour of a discourse and practice that agitated and raised political tensions, fuelled sectarian polarization, and brought the country to the brink of a severe political crisis.

This attitude and behaviour is the basis for the political crises that have broken out from time to time, and its continuation will result in the continued outbreak of crises, pushing the country every time to acute crises and new tensions. It is also oblivious to the main worries and concerns of our people, large sections of whom are suffering extremely difficult living conditions, with the deteriorating level of services, unemployment, high prices, a security situation that is still unstable despite relative improvement, incomplete sovereignty and vicious forces that are hostile to the political process.

Despite the reservation of the Communist Party about the new version of the election law, we shall accept this challenge and participate actively in the forthcoming elections to get our representatives elected to the Parliament in order to defend the interests of the Iraqi people, especially the toilers, and to ensure achieving full independence and national sovereignty, reforming the political process and building a prosperous democratic Iraq.”

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